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Ecolink

Ecolink trains farmers to plant organic tea and other produce; purchases these organic goods and sells them through local and international channels.

Facts

 Investee Ecolink, founded 2003
 Location Vietnam
 Sector Agriculture
 Funding period 2013-2016
 Funding type Convertible debt
 Website http://www.ecolink.com.vn/

 

Impact

Context

  • Organic foods are currently not very popular in Vietnam because they are priced at a premium, and because local consumers are not fully-informed of the health benefits / valid accreditations, and have a preference for inorganic foods
  • 49% of Vietnam’s employed population works in agriculture
  • Organic farming’s more stringent techniques are time-consuming to follow, resulting in products priced 1.5-3 times higher than conventional products
  • This makes it more difficult to convince farmers to make the switch to organic farmer in the short-run

Solution

  • Ecolink promotes organic produce accreditation and sells Vietnamese-grown organic tea and other produce both domestically and abroad
  • Ecolink sources its products through a network of ethnic minority farmers in remote regions of Vietnam to whom they provide training in globally accepted organic farming techniques with the aim of gaining official accreditation

Impact depth

  • Ecolink aims to increase the awareness and therefore improve the long term health of consumers. Professional accreditation increases consumer awareness and trust in organic products
  • Organic farming provides long term environmental benefits and sustainable livelihoods

Ecolink contributes to:

  • Increased household income: Farmer families increase their income due to improved market access
  • Improved farming knowledge: Farming groups are trained in organic farming techniques and earn accreditation
  • Improving living standard of Base of Pyramid (BoP): Tea growing areas in the Northwest where ethnic minority farmers and large percentage of the BoP population lives
Impact Reach 2013 2014 2015
# of Ecomart customers (weekly purchase) 2'200 2'200 3'150
# of farmer groups 25 35 42
# of people impacted (farmers and their families) 6'285 6'285 7'105