Access to markets is increasingly seen as an essential element in providing a route out of poverty, especially for small producers of food crops in rural areas. However, the nature of those markets is changing and bringing about shifts in both levels and forms of participation by small producers in global food systems. Small producers face new difficulties, for example in meeting high standards, but there are also new initiatives, for example by fair trade companies and co-operatives. This article focuses on nine initiatives and asks what small producers must do to achieve effective and sustainable access to markets, and how different private and public organisations can contribute to this.
Sheila Page and Rachel Slater