The current era of globalization has brought unparalleled growth in trade and market development throughout the globe, opening opportunity and generating wealth in developed and developing nations alike. Yet despite this tremendous economic growth the global poverty rate has only continued to rise creating the largest generation of marginalized peoples today than we have ever seen. For many working poor the modern, global market structure has created greater marginalization and less opportunity then the previous system grounded in local and regional trade. Improving access to markets for the poor has consistently been stymied by the great gap that exists between small-holder production capacity and global supply requirements and mechanisms. Furthermore, small-holder producers face enormous challenges to in trying to meet standards of processing, transportation packaging, etc., prevent many cooperative farming communities with potential supply capacity from accessing high-value markets. Finally, even when the production capacity and standards are met, small-holder producers have great difficulty accessing global supply chains and are left out of important market negotiations or trade agreements leaving their interests unrepresented and their communities further marginalized.
GFI’s work to improve Market Access for marginalized communities starts from a rights based perspective focusing on access not just to the markets themselves, but to the decision making bodies and mechanisms that control the trade and market environment where small-producers work.
At GFI we begin all of our work by engaging the right players who will best create opportunities for economic empowerment in the communities where we work, and not just the available players who regularly cycle through development programs. This is what ultimately sets GFI apart. We believe that opportunity is created by engagement and that interventions are sustained by creating lasting linkages between all stakeholders that engage with or impact the communities with whom we work.
GFI’s works with developing countries to attract meaningful and secure foreign investment by helping establishing high standard of social services, protections and environmentally sustainable practices. To ensure that these standards can be met and enforced, programs are designed around a multi-stakeholder process that seeks to build core capacity within government, the private sector and civil society.