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Sustainable business models create value for gums and resins in Kenya and Somalia

Picture copyright: Anna Tervahartiala / the Network for Religious and Traditional Peacemakers (Finn Church Aid)

A business model addressing global market needs and strengthening rural livelihoods can be built through responsible supply chains and processing of gums and resins in Kenya and Somalia.

The global food, pharmaceutical and cosmetic markets consume constantly increasing amounts of refined products from natural gums and resins. At the same time, the demand for responsible and transparent sourcing channels is rapidly growing.  

Gaia has assessed the business potential of gums and resins in Kenya and Somalia for Finn Church Aid and the Network for Religious and Traditional Peacemakers. The project resulted in sketching a potential business model for a gums and resins distillery in Kenya to facilitate further business development in the sector. The business model is based on a value chain analysis of gums and resins, an initial screening of processing options and a global market study of selected products conducted by Gaia in 2017.

Gums and resins collection provides a valuable source of income for people living in arid pastoral areas of Kenya and Somalia. While severe draughts and changing rain patterns threaten the traditional way of living supported by cattle herding, the largely under-utilized resources of gums and resins can be a life-changing source of income for the rural people.

Sustainable collection and processing of renewable natural resources for international markets is a critical tool for generating wealth in East Africa.

“By building a business model that combines FCA’s extensive field experience in rural Kenya and Somalia to the international business background of its potential partners, a valuable and sustainable business serving the international markets can be created”, notes Paula Tommila, Business Manager at Gaia.  

Sustainable business is a powerful tool for creating long-lasting development impacts and improving livelihoods in the developing world. At the moment, even international markets and investors increasingly value sustainability aspects and align their work with the SDG agenda.

“By developing sustainable business models in East Africa, FCA and its partners can play a crucial role in building improved livelihoods, generating jobs for constantly increasing number of families and communities and hence contribute to inclusive and peaceful development in the region”, says Mahdi Abdile, Head of Secretariat of the Network for Religious and Traditional Peacemakers at FCA.

More information

  • Paula Tommila, Business Manager, Gaia Consulting Ltd, +358 40 538 4813, firstname.lastname@gaia.fi
  • Maiju Lepomäki, Project Officer, The Network for Religious and Traditional Peacemakers, tel. +358 40 635 8837, firstname.lastname@kirkonulkomaanapu.fi
  • Pasi Rinne, Chairman of Board, Gaia Consulting Ltd, +358 400 464 127, firstname.lastname@gaia.fi

More information about FCA’s work with gums and resins in Kenya and Somalia is available at https://gumsandresins.wordpress.com/ .