FFM+: Over 700 development projects, 60% of them for businesses and agricultural cooperatives

Since the launch of the digital system for receiving applications for support under the Fit For Market+ programme in early July 2022, 716 applications for support (as at 21 September 2023) have been received. Most (60%) of these requests have come from horticultural businesses and cooperatives. Other requests come from the structures that make up the ecosystem of these businesses, namely consultants, support structures, professional organisations, training and research institutes, and the competent authorities.

The number of requests for support has stabilised over the last few months, at around 30 to 40 per month. The chart below shows the geographic distribution of these requests.

Of the 716 applications received, 74% were analysed and most are now the subject of a second, more in-depth analysis, in particular through the use of the Sustainability Self-Assessment System and/or more technical discussions. Ultimately, 22% of the requests resulted in agreement to support a development project.

The large number of requests received and the profile of the requesting organisations (smaller organisations active on the local market) have led us to adopt a more collective approach to our support and to a relatively limited number of intra-organisation support requests, for which the needs are more complex.

In this context of standardisation of our offer, the majority of the companies analysed were offered autonomous learning projects (30%) and standard support projects (45%), while 25% will be supported via tailor-made support projects.

Collective and intra-organisational support initiatives have been underway since January 2023, including:

  • active promotion of our digital tools, such as the distance learning platform, the E-Library, statistics, regulatory monitoring, etc.
  • more than 70 group training courses during the year, covering COLEAD’s 8 themes for vocational training in sustainable agriculture
  • providing post-training group support to give participants the opportunity to apply what they have learned in training within their own organisation.
  • the development of intra-organisation support for tailor-made support projects.

For example, in September and October 2023, COLEAD’s online resource centre was presented and explained to a group of African, Caribbean and Pacific trade associations via its programmes; training for trainers is underway in Malawi; six Madagascan companies in the lychee sector are being supported as they prepare their action plans to comply with the Rainforest Alliance standard; the R-SAT is being finalised in Ethiopia; and a review of the mango export campaign and interceptions was organised with the National Plant Protection Organisations of the producer countries.

This activity is supported by the Fit For Market Plus (FFM+) programme, implemented by COLEAD within the Framework of Development Cooperation between the Organisation of African, Caribbean and Pacific States (OACPS) and the European Union.

This publication receives financial support from the European Union and the OACPS. The content of this publication is the sole responsibility of COLEAD and can in no way be taken to reflect the views of the European Union or the OACPS.