Homepage » FiBL Switzerland » International Cooperation » Working Themes » Market development

Market Development Services

Main market development methodologies

Market development activities must respect the various distinct development stages – inception, growth, and consolidation – if they are to succeed. These activities may have different objectives, such as enhancing the competitiveness of individual companies or the whole sector, quality improvement or improvement of sustainability along the supply chain. To plan and focus its market development activities, FiBL uses the following methodological approaches and tools:

  • Participatory Market Chain Approach (PMCA)  -> market chain and sector development  – Introduction, Userguide
  • Leader Approach -> capacity building among leading companies and market chain development
  • Sustainability Monitoring and Assessment RouTine (SMART) -> sustainability evaluation and appraisal of companies and Response Inducing Sustainability Evaluation (RISE) -> sustainability assessment of agricultural production at farm level

Market development

In theory, markets are the mechanism whereby demand and supply balance each other. In practice, market development can be complex: production and distribution capacity might be insufficiently developed, or consumers may lack a proper understanding of the quality differences and benefits of certain products. Both of these challenges are particular issues for the organic sector and similar added-value products, such as Fair Trade labels or regional brands.

FiBL offers a broad range of services throughout the value chain related to agricultural production, processing, trading and retailing (see right hand column). Our role varies from case to case, as required. Governments and international donors tend to contract FiBL to implement projects or act as an international expert in market development. Private companies more often seek our support to obtain specific capacity building or to build up and consolidate certain business ventures. For instance, FiBL is contracted by some retail and processing companies to help them source organic crops, and to make these production and marketing systems more sustainable. One of the main strengths of our market development work lies in the different methodological approaches that we can employ to respond to different development stages and contexts (see Box 2).

Projects in Strategic Market Development

Ongoing projects

Completed projects