The yak wool and wine value chains are really good examples of how story of origin can add value to a product. And in having a brand that is bound up with a clear social and environmental purpose the value chains are much more integrated and strengthened. But they are exclusive or rare products - not "commodities"
We've started looking at Cambodian rice. Ostensibly a price driven commodity there is in fact unrealised brand and impact potential.
Further the opportunities to create tangible improvements in the value chain through careful investment is clear.
Present situation - high rice wastage, high chemical use, high water use, low and volatile farmer incomes.
Proposal - invest in key supply infrastructure in partnership with farmer groups and private enterprises to (a) reduce wastage, (b) increase farmer and community incomes and make them less volatile; (c) reduce chemical and water use.
We are looking at technology to reduce waste, shared drying, shared storage and co-operative milling.
Watch this space.