Taking a Fresh Approach: Enabling local producers to meet rising demand in West Africa’s dairy sector

Publication date

21 Jun 2018


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Poverty is widespread among the small-scale farmers and workers who produce and process our food, in an industry worth billions of dollars. Oxfam’s new campaign highlights the systemic inequality and human suffering in food supply chains – and shows how action by supermarkets, governments, small-scale farmers and workers could lead to a decent and dignified standard of living for millions of people.

This case study describes the challenges facing small-scale milk producers across West Africa. Despite growth in demand for dairy products, they face significant inequalities in accessing their markets, including lack of government investment and competition from cheap imports of powdered milk from Europe. However, there are opportunities for change in the dairy sector, which could see small-scale producers gain a greater share of revenue from milk production. This paper offers recommendations for government and market interventions to support the development of local markets and help smallholders earn a decent living.

This is one of a series of case studies to supplement the global campaign report, Ripe for Change, drawing attention to the plight of specific groups of small-scale farmers and workers in international food value chains and/or promoting successful alternative approaches.