Mapping our farmer programmes

Through our suppliers we source from more than 1.5 million farmers who in turn support communities of over 7 million people.

Unilever smallholder farmer interventions

Our approach focuses on developing interventions that help smallholders and their communities improve agricultural practices, business capabilities and life skills, strengthening women's economic standing and promoting young agricultural entrepreneurs. Through these interventions we will improve livelihoods and help build long-term, viable businesses.

The interactive map below shows the dedicated projects around the world with our suppliers and partners.

  • Ghana

    Project Focus: helping cocoa farmers in west Africa gain Rainforest Alliance certification

    Project reach: 10,000 smallholder farmers

    Project focus: helping cocoa farmers in West Africa gain Rainforest Alliance certification

    Unilever has enabled 10,000 smallholder cocoa growers to gain Rainforest Alliance certification – a scheme that recognises farms that are managed to the standards of the Sustainable Agriculture Network (SAN), including environmental protection, economic viability, and improved social standards for farmers, farm workers, and their families.

    In addition, Unilever partnered with Solidaridad to pilot a “Financial and Social Literacy for Youth in Cocoa Programme” to rejuvenate and professionalise the cocoa sector. The project aimed to address the future of cocoa production due to aging farmers and an urgent need to support young people to go into cocoa production.

    • Resouces

      We have provided resource directly to a project of farmer training.

    • Environmental Savings

      We pay for technical solutions that create environmental savings and yield improvements.

    • Cash Contribution

      We have contributed cash to
      programmes of farmer training.

    • Investment

      We pay premiums to suppliers for investment in farmer replanting/agronomy programmes.

    • Network

      We link expert organisations to our suppliers/farmers to build, for example, pest management programmes.

    • Planting Materials

      We have provided planting material (high yielding seed) to farmers

    • Support Activities

      We have been directly involved in agronomic support activities targeted at the farmers.

  • Ivory Coast

    Project Focus: helping cocoa farmers gain Rainforest Alliance certification

    Project reach: 16,800 smallholder farmers

    Crop: cocoa

    Brand/s: Magnum, Ben & Jerry's, Cornetto, Breyers

    Project focus: helping cocoa farmers in West Africa gain Rainforest Alliance certification

    Unilever has helped over 16,000 smallholder cocoa growers to gain Rainforest Alliance certification – a scheme that recognises farms that are managed to the standards of the Sustainable Agriculture Network (SAN), including environmental protection, economic viability, and improved social standards for farmers, farm workers, and their families.

    • Resouces

      We have provided resource directly to a project of farmer training.

    • Environmental Savings

      We pay for technical solutions that create environmental savings and yield improvements.

    Find out more
  • Kenya

    Project focus: improving agricultural practices

    Project reach: 563,031 farmers as well as their families

    Crop: tea

    Brand/s: Lipton, PG Tips, Brooke Bond, Lyons & others

    Project focus: better yields for tea farmers in Kenya

    Over 560,000 smallholder farmers in Kenya have met the standards required for Rainforest Alliance certification. This is the result of a collaboration between Unilever, the Rainforest Alliance and the Kenya Tea Development Agency (KTDA). Further to certification, Unilever is also working with KTDA and IDH to run Farmer Field Schools to help share best agricultural practices, increase yield, and improve quality. By the end of 2015, over 2,500 Farmer Field Schools had been established, which had trained over 77,000 lead farmers.

    • Resouces

      We have provided resource directly to a project of farmer training.

    • Environmental Savings

      We pay for technical solutions that create environmental savings and yield improvements.

    • Cash Contribution

      We have contributed cash to
      programmes of farmer training.

    • Network

      We link expert organisations to our suppliers/farmers to build, for example, pest management programmes.

    • Support Activities

      We have been directly involved in agronomic support activities targeted at the farmers.

    Find out more
  • Tanzania

    Project focus: increasing incomes for allanblackia farmers in Tanzania

    Project reach: 5,500 farmers and collectors

    Project focus: increasing incomes for allanblackia farmers in Tanzania

    Unilever's role in the Allanblackia partnership has brought about a substantial increase in the number of allanblackia trees planted by smallholders in Tanzania since 2006. These trees require time to grow and are expected to start delivering significant additional allanblackia oil beyond 2020. The fruit of the allanblackia tree, which is commonly found in rainforests, is rich in oil, but has been ‘wild harvested'. Through the partnership, Unilever is helping the transition from wild harvesting to the sustainable domestication of the tree, in a supply chain, which conserves biodiversity and brings benefit to local communities.

    • Resouces

      We have provided resource directly to a project of farmer training.

    • Environmental Savings

      We pay for technical solutions that create environmental savings and yield improvements.

    • Cash Contribution

      We have contributed cash to
      programmes of farmer training.

    • Investment

      We pay premiums to suppliers for investment in farmer replanting/agronomy programmes.

    • Network

      We link expert organisations to our suppliers/farmers to build, for example, pest management programmes.

    • Support Activities

      We have been directly involved in agronomic support activities targeted at the farmers.

    Find out more
  • Tanzania

    Project focus: creating jobs linked to Unilever Tea Tanzania’s estates

    Project reach: 30,000 people

    Crop: tea

    Brand/s: PG Tips, Lipton, Joko, Brooke Bond & others

    Project focus: creating jobs linked to Unilever's Mufundi tea estates

    Working in partnership with the government of Tanzania, Unilever is helping secure sustainable and improved livelihoods for thousands of smallholder tea farmers in the Mufindi and Njombe regions of Tanzania. Overall, 5,000 new jobs are expected to be created on Unilever's Tanzanian tea estates, while 6,000 hectares of smallholder tea farms will also be developed and improved.

    In 2015, Unilever worked with over 1,200 existing smallholder farmers and 200 hectares of new tea has been planted. In the next planting season, starting in December 2015, an additional 300 hectares of tea is expected to be planted. Our partners, The Wood Foundation, Gatsby Charitable Foundation, and UK Department for International Development (DFID), supports the work in Njombe, while the project in Mufindi is with the support of IDH The Sustainable Trade Initiative.

    • Resouces

      We have provided resource directly to a project of farmer training.

    • Support Activities

      We have been directly involved in agronomic support activities targeted at the farmers.

    Find out more
  • Turkey

    Project focus: health initiatives for women

    Project reach: 10,000 smallholder farmers

    Crop: tea

    Brand/s: Lipton

    Project focus: health initiatives for women tea farmers in Turkey

    At tea plantations in Turkey, our work with smallholder farmers in Turkey aims to go beyond agricultural improvements. Almost 80% of the farmers are women, so we donated a scanning machine to promote the early detection of cancers, as part of a major programme and ten individual projects on sustainable tea farming since 2011.

    • Resouces

      We have provided resource directly to a project of farmer training.

    • Environmental Savings

      We pay for technical solutions that create environmental savings and yield improvements.

    • Cash Contribution

      We have contributed cash to
      programmes of farmer training.

    • Investment

      We pay premiums to suppliers for investment in farmer replanting/agronomy programmes.

    • Network

      We link expert organisations to our suppliers/farmers to build, for example, pest management programmes.

    • Planting Materials

      We have provided planting material (high yielding seed) to farmers

    • Support Activities

      We have been directly involved in agronomic support activities targeted at the farmers.

    Find out more
  • India

    Project focus: partnership to improve livelihoods

    Project reach: 600+ factories, 500,000 tea plantation workers, 40,000 smallholder farmers

    Crop: tea

    Brand/s: Red Label, Taj Mahal, 3 Roses, BB Taaza

    Project focus: training tea farmers in India

    In India, Unilever is co-funding a project to produce around 500,000 metric tonnes of tea sustainably. This five-year programme, which will culminate in 2016, will aim to make a positive impact on the lives of thousands of plantation workers and smallholder farmers, covering the social, economic and environmental facets of tea growing. The project is jointly funded by Unilever, IDH, and Tata Global Beverages Ltd. Supported by this fund, the ground-level implementation will be carried out by Solidaridad and the Ethical Tea Partnership.

    • Cash Contribution

      We have contributed cash to
      programmes of farmer training.

    Find out more
  • India

    Project focus: developing innovative training programmes

    Project reach: 18,000 smallholder farmers

    Crop: gherkins

    Brand/s: Amora & Maille

    Project focus: developing innovative training programs for smallholder gherkin farmers in India

    Unilever is supporting Marcatus QED to implement its multi-faceted Responsible Farming Program for contract smallholders in India. Together, we have launched the Marcatus Mobile Education Platform, a ground-breaking grass-roots social network that utilizes culturally appropriate, simple video technology to help farmers train other farmers in sustainable agriculture. The educational curriculum specifically showcases women’s expertise and helps empower thousands of women farmers to make decisions on the farm. Topics and tools include water reduction through drip irrigation and improved soil quality through composting. Along with the Global Alliance for Improved Nutrition, we have also launched ‘Seeds of Prosperity’ - a pilot program that teaches farmer families about health, nutrition and hygiene.

    • Resouces

      We have provided resource directly to a project of farmer training.

    • Environmental Savings

      We pay for technical solutions that create environmental savings and yield improvements.

    • Cash Contribution

      We have contributed cash to
      programmes of farmer training.

    • Network

      We link expert organisations to our suppliers/farmers to build, for example, pest management programmes.

    • Support Activities

      We have been directly involved in agronomic support activities targeted at the farmers.

    Find out more
  • Sri Lanka

    Project focus: training smallholder farmers & tea plantation workers to transform sustainable tea production

    Project reach: Approx. 40,000 tea farmers and 200,000 tea plantation workers

    Crop: tea

    Brand/s: Lipton, Brooke Bond, Emblem, Club & others

    Project focus: teaching green gherkin farmers climate resilience techniques in India

    An initiative between Unilever, Pepsi Lipton International and Rainforest Alliance to drive large-scale change in the tea industry. The aim is to increase yields, income, and improve access to global markets through training thousands of farmers and plantation workers in sustainable agriculture practices..

    • Resouces

      We have provided resource directly to a project of farmer training.

    • Cash Contribution

      We have contributed cash to
      programmes of farmer training.

    Find out more
  • India

    Project focus: female entrepreneur has enabled yield increases for many farmers

    Project reach: 3,000 smallholder farmers

    Crop: tomatoes

    Brand/s: Kissan

    Project focus: training smallholder farmers to transform sustainable tea production in India

    Working together, Unilever and Manisha Dhatrak and her company Varun Agro have trained 3,000 smallholder famers who in turn provide 100% of the sustainably sourced tomatoes for Kissan, the Indian ketchup brand. In emerging markets, supporting smallholder farming is the most effective way of stimulating economic development and reducing poverty. The programme works with farmers to give them access to reliable contracts, better services, and training and tools, such as implementing drip irrigation. Unilever sources these tomatoes locally, helps smallholder farmers to triple their income, reduce their costs, and double their yields.

    • Network

      We link expert organisations to our suppliers/farmers to build, for example, pest management programmes

    • Support Activities

      We have been directly involved in agronomic support activities targeted at the farmers

    Find out more
  • China

    Project focus: implementing sustainable practices

    Project reach: 6,117 smallholder farmers

    Crop: tomatoes

    Brand/s: Knorr

    Project focus: increasing yields for tomato farmers in China

    Implementing Unilever's Sustainable Agriculture Code (SAC) has had a number of positive impacts. For example, cooperating with agriculture partner Bayer for seed variety and herbicide project, implementing water-efficient drip irrigation, targeted insecticide use, and biodegradable mulch, which helps eliminate waste - all of which has helped to increase yields.

    • Resouces

      We have provided resource directly to a project of farmer training

    • Environmental Savings

      We pay for technical solutions that create environmental savings and yield improvements

    • Cash Contribution

      We have contributed cash to programmes of farmer training

    • Network

      We link expert organisations to our suppliers/farmers to build, for example, pest management programmes

    • Support Activities

      We have been directly involved in agronomic support activities targeted at the farmers

  • Vietnam

    Project focus: improve the long-term economic, environmental and social sustainability of smallholder farmers

    Project reach: 19,000 smallholder tea growers

    Crop: tea

    Brand/s: Lipton, Sariwangi, Brooke Bond, Saga & others

    Project focus: improve the long-term economic, environmental and social sustainability of smallholder farmers

    Unilever, with the support of the Rainforest Alliance and IDH the sustainable trade initiative, worked with a base of smallholder tea growers in Vietnam to help achieve Rainforest Alliance certification. Women's empowerment was also central to the agenda, with many women growers developing the skills to take on leadership roles within the farming community for the first time. By the end of 2015, over 4,000 smallholder farmers had been trained and over 2,000 smallholder farmers had achieved Rainforest Alliance certification.

    • Resouces

      We have provided resource directly to a project of farmer training.

    • Cash Contribution

      We have contributed cash to
      programmes of farmer training.

    • Network

      We link expert organisations to our suppliers/farmers to build, for example, pest management programmes.

    • Support Activities

      We have been directly involved in agronomic support activities targeted at the farmers.

    Find out more
  • Indonesia

    Project Focus: RSPO Certified independent smallholder farmers

    Project reach: 259 independent smallholders with around 1,175 hectares of land

    Crop: palm oil

    Brand/s: across category, including Foods and Home & Personal care products

    Palm oil seeds in a man's hand

    Partnering with IDH, the Sustainable Trade Initiative, and PT Perkebunan Nusantara III Persero (PTPN III), a government owned palm oil plantation company and RSPO, to develop a programme to help independent smallholders located in Sei Mangkei - North Sumatra to increase their productivity and quality, and to achieve RSPO certification.

    The programme will reach over 250 independent smallholders with around 1,175 hectares of land and will aim to scale up and roll out to other key strategic partners. We believe that focusing on the transformation of supply sheds and the opportunity to improve smallholder yields will lead to more effective programmes to support the inclusion of smallholders into sustainable supply chains.

    • Resouces

      We have provided resource directly to a project of farmer training.

    • Support Activities

      We have been directly involved in agronomic support activities targeted at the farmers.

    Find out more
  • Indonesia

    Project focus: technical assistance and finance training

    Project reach: 9,000 farmers, including over 3,300 women growers

    Crop: black soy bean

    Brand/s: Bango

    Project focus: Education programmes for black soy bean farmers in Indonesia

    Unilever partnered with the Gadjah Mada University in Indonesia to help make a difference to the lives of farmers of black soy bean: a vital ingredient in the country's popular Bango soy sauce brand. A new variety of black soybean, Mallika, came out of this partnership – robust enough to withstand tough growing conditions.

    The program currently covers 17 regencies in Java with eight cooperatives. In 2009, a Field School initiative launched as a methodological approach to accelerate the adoption of the Unilever Sustainable Agriculture Code (USAC). In addition, a women’s empowerment program has been introduced in the community.

    • Resouces

      We have provided resource directly to a project of farmer training.

    • Environmental Savings

      We pay for technical solutions that create environmental savings and yield improvements.

    Find out more
  • Madagascar

    Project focus: prioritising women in the vanilla farming community in Madagascar

    Project reach: 4,000 smallholder vanilla farmers in 32 communities

    Project focus: prioritising women in the vanilla farming community in Madagascar

    Smallholder vanilla farmers in Madagascar began benefiting from Unilever's support in January 2014 when the business signed a partnership with supplier Symrise and development agency GIZ to boost sustainable vanilla sourcing. The positive impact this community is expected to enjoy will cover children's education as well as yield and profit improvements.

    • Resouces

      We have provided resource directly to a project of farmer training.

    • Environmental Savings

      We pay for technical solutions that create environmental savings and yield improvements.

    • Cash Contribution

      We have contributed cash to
      programmes of farmer training.

    • Investment

      We pay premiums to suppliers for investment in farmer replanting/agronomy programmes.

    • Network

      We link expert organisations to our suppliers/farmers to build, for example, pest management programmes.

    • Planting Materials

      We have provided planting material (high yielding seed) to farmers

    • Support Activities

      We have been directly involved in agronomic support activities targeted at the farmers.

    Find out more
  • Indonesia

    Project focus: implementing mobile technology

    Project reach: 60+ smallholder farmers

    Crop: coconut sugar

    Brand/s: Bango

    Project focus: Implementing mobile technology

    Working in partnership with Vodafone, Unilever is implementing a mobile technology based platform to smallholder farmers. Through targeted SMS messages, the project aims to help implement best practices, increase access to markets and reduce transactional costs. Clinton Giustra Enterprise Partnership will implement the pilot, which is due to run until the end of the year.

    • Resouces

      We have provided resource directly to a project of farmer training.

    • Network

      We link expert organisations to our suppliers/farmers to build, for example, pest management programmes.

    Find out more
  • Tanzania

    Project focus: implementing mobile technology

    Project reach: 621 smallholder farmers

    Crop: tea

    Brand/s: PG Tips, Lipton, Joko, Brooke Bond & others

    Project focus: implementing mobile technology

    Working in partnership with Vodafone, Unilever is implementing a mobile technology based platform to smallholder farmers. Through targeted SMS messages, the project aims to help implement best practices, increase access to markets and reduce transactional costs. Unilever Tea Tanzania will implement the pilot, which is due to run until the end of the year.

    • Resouces

      We have provided resource directly to a project of farmer training.

    • Environmental Savings

      We pay for technical solutions that create environmental savings and yield improvements.

    • Support Activities

      We have been directly involved in agronomic support activities targeted at the farmers.

    Find out more
  • Haiti

    Project: strategic partnership to improve livelihoods

    Project reach: 200 farmers & their families

    Crop: vetiver

    Brand/s: Axe, Impulse

    Project focus: strategic partnership to improve livelihoods

    Together with International Flavors & Fragrances (IFF), we are working to enhance the livelihoods of smallholder farmers by improving food security, increasing yields, and diversifying income, while working to support women’s empowerment and environmental conservation. This two year project is part of the Enhancing Livelihoods Fund set up by Unilever, Oxfam, and Ford Foundation.

    • Cash Contribution

      We have contributed cash to
      programmes of farmer training.

    • Network

      We link expert organisations to our suppliers/farmers to build, for example, pest management programmes.

    Find out more

Overview of programmes

Overview of programmes

Download our infographic (PDF) which shows key stats from our smallholder farmer programmes

Infographic of progress

Inforgraphic of progress in Sustainable Sourcing

Download our infographic (PDF) which shows where we are providing help and training to 600,000 smallholder farmers

Spotlight on a farmer

Spotlight on a farmer

Meet Christina, a vanilla farmer from Madagascar, and hear how she is implementing sustainable agriculture

Sustainable sourcing in action

Manisha Dhatrak of Varun Agro with a tomato farmer in India

Meet Manisha, a businesswoman from India who set up a processing plant to stop local crops being wasted

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