Jordanian micro and small food processors operate mostly in local or neighboring markets. They are usually marginalized by low production volumes, inconsistent quality, high transaction costs, and poor market infrastructure. They also often have a hard time accessing higher value-added markets, in particular high-end retail outlets such as specialty stores, supermarkets and even export markets.
USAID LENS found that there is growing demand for artisanal food products that retailers, distributors and exporters are struggling to meet.
USAID LENS Work
USAID LENS defines artisanal foods to include both traditional products and innovative new products that introduce a new taste or deliver a new twist on a traditional or common food item.The project aims to boost the competitiveness and sustainability of small, local artisanal food producers by linking them with lead firms in their sector to create demand-driven business partnerships.
Large corporations are important partners as they can integrate these small businesses into local business networks, which increases their linkages to other businesses and helps them to grow. For example, corporate supply chains represent a huge growth opportunity for MSEs by providing them new sources of revenue and a chance to improve the quality of their products.For larger companies, supporting entrepreneurs and making small businesses part of their supplier base is more than corporate social responsibility, it is good business.
Smaller companies can be more flexible, and quicker to deliver when they are locally-based. They have a unique localized knowledge that larger businesses can benefit from, especially when looking to expand into newer or more niche markets.
- Launched a special initiative with Safeway Jordan in May 2015 to integrate 4 food processors in North Jordan into their supply chain in pickled vegetables and processed dairy. This support will include technical assistance and grants and will seek to benefit more than 140 individuals employed in participating micro and small businesses.
- Facilitated a connection between Al Andalus Dairy Factory run by the Cattle Farmers Association in Irbid with Safeway, one of Jordan’s largest supermarkets. The aim was to improve their competitiveness by linking them with large firms who can give them guidance on complying with market standards and supermarket requirements and supporting them in accessing new markets. As of September 2015, this small dairy company was selling its products in 2 main Safeway branches and as a result has doubled its revenues.