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“Looking for opportunities within local market is also critical and not just focusing on an export lens,” says WiBDi’s Gillian Stewart
Apia, Samoa – The Women in Business Development Inc (WiBDi) are navigating new markets to support families affected by the global pandemic.
“Since the COVID lockdown in Samoa, WiBDi has actively been seeking new local markets to support families during this difficult time for regular income generation,” says Programme Manager, Gillian Stewart.
“Looking for opportunities within the local market is also critical and not just focusing on an export lens. There’s a high demand from businesses to source fresh, organic ingredients for their value-added products.”
“We’ve been addressing barriers with sourcing and logistics to enable families in rural areas to engage into these supply chains and deliver product into the Central Business District of Apia.”
Gillian Stewart said the Women in Business Development Inc are adapting to the circumstances and have also expanded the tea garden concept to include fresh and dried ingredients to link into emerging local markets including tea and tonics.
“The tea garden expansion in thinking and design has been motivated by the need to adapt to income generation pathways like the virtual market and ensure reliable product supply and demand can be met.”
“Family suppliers from our Certified Organic villages are being connected into these customers and setting up regular supply arrangements on a weekly basis.”
Gillian Stewart said the Women in Business Development Inc are currently utilizing their vehicles and other inter-island transport to establish a reliable delivery service that meets customer processing timelines.
The activity is funded by the Farmers’ Organizations for Africa, Caribbean and Pacific (FO4ACP) Programme, a joint partnership between the European Union, Africa Caribbean and Pacific (ACP) and Pacific Island Farmers Organisation Network (PIFON).