Small Farmers, Big Dreams: Creating Value at the Base of the Pyramid in Mexico

Jan 2010
In rural Mexico, small farmers tend to grow staple crops like beans and corn, and sell them only in their immediate communities. With little accessto national supply chains or the working capital they need to expand their farms, they remain at subsistence levels. Meanwhile, Mexico is developing ever-higher rates of obesity and related health issues, leading the government to call for food companies to cut their use of saturated oils and trans-fats, and to implement public incentive plans to diversify the country's agricultural profile.
Sabritas, a leading Mexican snack foods producer owned by PepsiCo, has decided to take action. With support from the Opportunities for the Majority (OMJ) initiative and the local financial institution Agrofinanzas, it will scale a pilot program that incorporates small farmers into its sunflower supply chain. The new production of sunflower oil will reduce the company's dependence on expensive, unhealthy imported palm oil, while giving small farmers the chance to expand their crop output and enter the formal economy.