The initial focus of Sunrise was on setting up two pilot projects, one in Tanzania and one in Azerbaijan, to source dehydrated vegetables and to capture learning from these projects and the partnership at work.
In Tanzania, commercial viability proved to be a barrier to establishing practical projects. Producers there are better off supplying the local market. Oxfam has subsequently set up a local market development programme in the wake of Sunrise feasibility work.
After two years of trials in Azerbaijan starting in 2010 it became clear that our project there would not meet the commercial viability test for a supply in to Europe or achieve the scale and impact originally envisaged. A positive legacy of improved agricultural practices in farming communities and increased yields was however achieved. A case study and short film on the work in Azerbaijan is
During the first two years and working with IIED and Kent Business School, the Sunrise project also designed and developed a methodology and tool to measure fairness in trading relationships between actors along the supply chain. You can read more on this and also download the methodology and guide.
From 2013 onwards Sunrise 2.0 has focused on learning from existing engagements with smallholders within, and external to, Unilever. In particular, Sunrise has looked at three Unilever supply chains (tea, tomatoes and black soy bean) and has worked with IIED to engage with a range of other businesses on best practice in inclusive business models.
The collaboration with IIED focused particularly on what role a lead firm can play in shaping inclusive business practices among its suppliers. See the IIED issues paper "Success factors for lead firms to shape inclusive procurement" for more detail.
From the research and learning programme, Sunrise has written a guide for Unilever procurement on how to work with suppliers on improving the livelihoods of smallholder farmers, workers and their communities. This guide and an accompanying tool kit and training module will be rolled out by the end of 2015. The project has also written a guide for NGOs on how to better engage with lead firms and suppliers in the private sector on value chain development.