Ten Thousand Villages in Crisis: Can the Fair Trade Pioneer Survive and Flourish in an Economic Downturn?

Abstract

This two-part case examines a major reorganization process which took place at Ten Thousand Villages Canada in 2013, as a response to severe challenges from the aftermath of the 2007-08 global financial crisis. Ten Thousand Villages is one of the oldest fair trade organizations in North America, whose history can be traced back to craft sales in 1946. The case was developed in close collaboration with managers and volunteers of Ten Thousand Villages Canada, as well as their producer partners in Kenya.

The Part A case provides an overview of Ten Thousand Villages (e.g., history, producer partnerships, operation in Canada) and the financial challenges faced by the organization in 2013. Part A facilitates the discussion of how the organization could be revived at the verge of bankruptcy, specifically from the perspective of a senior manager who must develop a plan to reach a break-even point within 12 months. The Part B case presents the actual decisions of the leadership team and what happened afterwards. By studying this case, students are expected to gain an in-depth understanding of real-life challenges faced by social enterprises and develop strategic decision-making capabilities for achieving financial sustainability at the same time as pursuing social mission.

AuthorsAnna Kim & Cécilia Renaud
InstitutionsHEC Montréal & CHUM, Canada
Competition Year2017
PlaceRunner Up
TrackSustainable Entrepreneurship
Key WordsCSR, Socially Responsible Investing, Environmental Performance, Social Performance
CoursesSustainable Finance, Strategic Management, Finance, Business Sustainability, Business and Society, or Environmental Entrepreneurship
Target AudienceMBAs, Undergrads
Permission rightsThis case will be published at the Case Centre shortly.
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oikos International

posted June 19, 2017

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Cocoa Sourcing – Sustainability Challenges and Emerging Corporate Response

The chocolate industry is confronted with serious sustainability challenges in cocoa production that may put long term cocoa supply at risk. Although sustainability challenges have been a concern for the industry for some years, the challenges have become more complex and increasingly urgent. Hence, it is analysed how chocolate manufacturers started to address the challenges. Additionally, the influence of these emerging corporate responses on global cocoa sourcing and on the sustainability challenges is assessed. The comprehensive review of the emerging corporate responses of six Switzerland-based companies shows that the responses represent similar approaches towards sustainable cocoa sourcing. The assessment of the influence on global cocoa sourcing reveals major effects on the cocoa procurement market. About the effect of the emerging corporate responses on the sustainability challenges in cocoa production no conclusive statement can be made because of the incomplete data basis. Overall, the chocolate companies see themselves as being in transition to sustainable cocoa sourcing.

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oikos International

posted June 18, 2016

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The First Model WTO in Baku

The Model WTO Baku has been held at Azerbaijan State University of Economics (UNEC) on 20th May, 2016. The organizers of the event were the Ministry of Youth and Sports and UNEC, as well as “UNEC Model UN” Club and “oikos Baku”. More than 100 of local and overseas students from all higher education institutions of our country joined the conference held for the first time in Azerbaijan.

 
“Building Trade Capacity: Challenges of Global Trading System” and “Country Working Group: Negotiations on Azerbaijan’s accession to WTO” were the main subject of the conference. By examining the problems in global trade and the ways to resolve them, representatives have prepared a plan of actions. Other students worked on Azerbaijan’s accession to WTO and forwarded their proposals. Later, representatives discussed the conditions required to join the WTO, commitments set forth and held debates.

Conventional declarations were adopted by the participants at the end of the conference.
The proposals for Azerbaijan’s accession to WTO were put forward. For instance, to accede  the economy’s dependence on oil and gas export should be minimized over 15 years, particularly it should be focused in agriculture and tourism. Student-experts proposed the liberalization of country’s trade, customs matters should be simplified and the legislation should be brought in line with WTO standards. The participants were presented certificates at the closing of the 3-day conference. Azerbaijan’s representative Eltaj Rustamli and Oman’s representative Ulvi Ojagli were awarded the ”best delegate” award. The Swedish representatives were distinguished as the “best delegation”.

 
Two winner students have gained the chance to participate at the “International Model Screen Shot 2016-05-26 at 20.42.57WTO” conference to be held in Switzerland in 2017.

Written by oikos Baku 

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oikos International

posted May 26, 2016

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FairTrade Coffee Break

As part of the World FairTrade Challenge, oikos Bayreuth organizes a Fairtrade coffee break. Come and support the challenge by drinking fair-trade coffee!

More information (in German) can be found on this Facebook event.

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oikos International

posted May 13, 2016

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Model WTO

oikos Baku is organizing their first Model WTO in partnership with the UNEC Model UN. Two working groups will engage in the simulation: a country working group on Azerbaijan’s accession negotiations; and a building trade capacity group on the challenges of global trading system.

Find more information here.

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oikos International

posted May 11, 2016

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oikos Model WTO

Do you have an interest in current affairs in international trade and would you like to experience the process of international negotiations? Then the Model WTO 2015 could be the right event for you. The topic for the coming year’s edition will be “Mega-regionals – A challenge for the post-Bali WTO”. Focusing on the major proposed agreements between some of the biggest economies of the world, such as TPP and TTIP, and what it means for the WTO which has until now been the central arena for trade negotiations, this topic is sure to provide  a wide range of questions and negotiation issues relevant to all stakeholders. Read more

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oikos International

posted November 21, 2014

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oikos Winter School 2015

Money and trade is connecting people all over the world. In everyday life, we do not question our modes of transaction through money and trade – we take them to be grown all naturally and as if there were no alternatives.
But is that really the case?  This is the question we are asking at the next oikos winter school with the theme, “X-Change – Sustainability through money and trade“.We invite you to be part of the 11th oikos Winter School from February 23-27th 2015.
It would be the perfect platform for fostering novel ways of driving businesses & rethinking of heterodox outdated economic theory. Meet highly innovative startups that are doing socially and ecologically sustainable business. Discuss new money concepts with prominent scientists. Work in an international team of creative minds. This is your opportunity, grab it!

Register here

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oikos International

posted November 18, 2014

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Madécasse: Competing with a 4x Fairtrade Business Model

Case Abstract

Brett Beach and Tim McCollum, co-founders of Madécasse, spent two years as Peace Corps volunteers in Madagascar. During that time, they fell in love with the country and its people. Recognizing the need of the Malagasy for stable jobs and fair wages and the connection between poverty and environmental destruction, Brett and Tim discussed possibilities for a social enterprise in the country.

Madagascar presents a beautiful yet challenging place to operate a business. It has a wide range of flora and fauna, approximately 70% of which are found nowhere else on Earth and it produces coffee, vanilla, sugar, cotton, pepper, cinnamon, chili, cloves and high quality cocoa. However, it is also one of the least developed countries in the world. Seventy percent of the population is rural and 90% live on less than $2 a day.

Madécasse, with its headquarters in Brooklyn, New York, partners with farmer cooperatives and a chocolate factory in Madagascar to make single-origin, tree-to-bar chocolates for sale in high-end groceries and chocolate boutiques internationally. The Madécasse model maximizes the amount of value added to the final product in Madagascar. It includes strong relationships with the cocoa farmers, partnership with a chocolate factory, sourcing ingredients and packaging from around Madagascar, and exporting the final, fully packaged products. It is through this holistic approach that Brett and Tim created a business model that offers more than four times the social and economic benefit to Madagascar when compared to the standard FairTrade model.

Madécasse competes with other specialty brands and numerous conventional brands. In order to catch consumers’ attention, the founders obtained “Fair For Life” and Organic certifications. However, Madécasse is not unique in differentiating based on single origin, certified specialty chocolate. Survival depends on Madécasse’s ability to leverage its “4 X” impact.

The case study asks students to look thoroughly at the value chain in Madagascar, understand Madécasse’s operations and the local impacts, and the methods used to communicate to final consumers. Students are challenged with fully comprehending the value proposition of Madécasse and how it can be aligned with and communicated to current and emerging customer needs.

Authors: Scott Marshall, Darrell Brown, Bex Sakarias, Min Cai
Institution: Portland State University, USA
Competition Year2013
Place1st place
TrackSocial Entrepreneurship
Key WordsSocial Enterprise, Social Impact, Chocolate, Marketing, Operations Management, Madagascar
CoursesMarketing, Operations Management, Supply Chain Management, Social Entrepreneurship, International Business
Target AudienceAdvanced Undergraduate Business Students and Graduate Business Students
Permission RightsCopies of this case are available from Portland State University Library
DownloadInspection Copy
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oikos International

posted June 30, 2013

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All Good Bananas. Selling the Fair Trade Message

Case Abstract

In June 2012, serial ecopreneur, Chris Morrison, was wondering just how many All Good Bananas he could sell into banana-hungry New Zealand. From trials bringing Fairtrade bananas to New Zealand in 2008, All Good Bananas had grown to take 5% of the market share in a fiercely competitive industry dominated by large multi-national corporations with a legacy of poor environmental and social practices in the countries where the bananas were grown. All Good Bananas sold Fairtrade accredited bananas into one of the country’s two major supermarket chains and to independent stores. It used guerilla marketing and social media to spread the Fairtrade message. Chris Morrison and the other two owners saw potential in bringing other Fairtrade products to the market under the All Good brand as well. Chris Morrison was aware that All Good Bananas had the first mover advantage in the New Zealand Fairtrade banana market and that its staff of five were adept users of social marketing – but with the introduction of Dole’s “ethical choice” bananas and with more and more corporations moving to social media to engage with the market, he knew price would be an important factor to reach the company’s goal to grow to a 10% market share.

AuthorsEva Collins, Kate Kearins, Helen Tregida, Steve Bowden
InstitutionsUniversity of Waikato and Auckland University of Technology, New Zealand
Competition Year2013
PlaceFinalist
TrackSocial Entrepreneurship
Key WordsSME, Eco-preneurship, Family Business, Eco‐products, Environmental Strategy, Green Products
CoursesStrategic Marketing, Strategy and Entrepreneurship, Business and Sustainability
Target AudienceAdvanced Undergraduate Students, Graduate students
Permission RightsPlease contact Eva Collins for permission rights.
DownloadWe will make the download of the inspection copy available again shortly.
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oikos International

posted June 30, 2013

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Model WTO

The oikos Model WTO provides an opportunity for future decision-makers to face important global issues in the simulation framework of the WTO ministerial negotiations. Every year since 1997, students from around the world have been invited to Switzerland to debate and exchange creative ideas in the realistic context of the World Trade Organization.

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oikos International

posted March 18, 2013

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