Frequent asked questions

How is Rurality integrated in TFT's approach?

Because farmers represent an important part of the crops production, TFT recognizes that in order to best help its member drive change in their supply chains, they have to foster the collaboration between the farmers, who create the first value, and the second level of the supply chain. Furthermore, the innovation inside the supply chain has to be freed at the farmers’ level.

We aim to complete the TFT involvement and efforts to tackle the social and environmental issues with key stakeholders of the supply chain. Inside TFT, we are a logical gateway into supply chains, to engage with the farmers who supply the mills and factories.

How to scale up your model after working with a small group of farmers?

We aim to achieve scalability by:

  • Focusing on developing relevant and useful innovation that will scale up by themselves.
  • Developing partnerships with local NGOs, National Agencies, Universities for agriculture, cooperatives, and involving them in the activities (trainings, workshops ect…)
  • Working first with farmers who have entrepreneurship and leadership and who can inspire other farmers.
  • Connecting farmers with one another to share experiences, knowledge, innovation and challenges.
  • Using the industry leverage and brought connections

If the RDD findings show that there are no major challenges faced by farmers or if those challenges are already addressed by another organism, there is no need to develop a transformation phase.

What do you mean by "farmers" ?

“Smallholders” can have different meaning according to the definition of a country or a mill. Rurality has decided to talk about “farmers”. They can be very different from each other and it is not easy to give a simple definition. However, all farmers working with Rurality fulfill those criteria: they produce and sell a product, a raw material and they have the decision-making power on their business.

Is Rurality going to work alone when implementing the transformation phase?

Rurality aims to work in collaboration with the stakeholders that have been identified during the RDD phase (NGOs, National Agencies for Agriculture, cooperatives, ect…)

Example of such partnerships: a research institute has developed a new method for tapping rubber and is committed to train Rurality Field teams and to provide practical training to the farmers who are part of Rurality initiative.

How is the Rurality approach innovative?

We have a business minded approach and we start the work from the value chain. Rurality believes that smallholders are not victims but entrepreneurs and leaders who need support to express their vision and run their business successfully.

We don’t believe in one size fits all solutions therefore we spend time (from 4 to 6 months) to study the specific environment and challenges of a group of farmer and to propose adapted action plans.

We work in the field and we are in constant contact with farmers. This approach allows to build trust the farmers and to spread innovations.

What is the RDD?

The Rural Dynamics Diagnostic (RDD) is the tool used by TFT-Rurality in order to get a holistic understanding of the farmers’ physical, technical, social and economic environments and rural dynamics. RDD is therefore unique and adapted to the local context. Its objective is to be the foundation to design with the farmers the transformation strategies that will ultimately strengthen their resilience. The information is taken from the field through interviews, field visits, GPS measurements, community meetings, observations ect.

Where do Rurality fundings come from?

To date, the funding comes from TFT members – mainly multinational companies which brands are recognized globally – who understand the need to support farmers. They have realized that they cannot simply “ask” for transformation to happen. They need to support their suppliers, especially those who have committed to embark on a similar change journey. Rurality is a vehicle for those brands to support their suppliers to face the need for change at the farmer level.

How can you monitor Rurality's impacts and results?

Key Performance Indicators (KPI) are defined during the RDD. They are objective and quantifiable indicators that are measured before, during and after the transformation phase. All the stakeholders can be involved in the data collection and analysis of those indicators: community, community leaders, mill/factory, health centers, farmers, universities ect.

What does resilience mean to Rurality?

Resilience to us is the ability that farmers have to keep thriving and adapting to change despite the disturbances in the physical, economic, social and political environment: prices drop on the international market, climate change, political events ect. It is not just about efficiency or subsistence.

Does Rurality lead to a certification?

Rurality is not a certification scheme. There is no external standard nor action imposed by the buyers. The transformation plan is determined according to the 6-month period spent in the area during the RDD process.


For more information about our approach

please have a look at our brochure by clicking on the farmer.