Why Producers Trust is a Market Linkage Platform
From Market to Marketplace, & the Evolution to Market Linkage
Grand Bazaar in Turkey.
Amazon, Alibaba, Uber, Airbnb and Ebay are among the best-known global marketplaces, as are the Grand Bazaar in Turkey, the Tsukiji Fish Market in Japan, and Camden Market in the UK.
“Marketplace” is an expansive term that carries diverse definitions, ideas, and concepts depending on context. Mostly, it refers to a place to buy and sell.
When it comes to agricultural, fishery, and forestry value chains, the same marketplace dynamics of “buy and sell” have set the terms for centuries.
With this free market approach, an “invisible hand” is meant to facilitate specialization and greater efficiencies through an open system of exchange. However, resources have proven to be finite, and now we are paying the true cost.
When this free market model leads to unintended consequences—like climate change, soil depletion, water contamination, the extinction of our wildlife, the destruction of our rainforests, and the exploitation of our communities—we begin to see that something may be wrong.
Markets, in my opinion, were never truly about 100% “freedom,” although many saw it that way. In each jurisdiction, some of which overlap globally, we agree upon rules based on universal laws and morality in order to live in a safe and peaceful world. This is the social contract. And while it hasn’t worked so well for a multitude of reasons, including greed and corruption, we are now moving into an era where these faults will begin to severely impact every human on the planet.
Thus, it seems like the perfect moment to agree to a new contract and a new marketplace framework.
Instead of trying to put the word “social” or “ecological” in front of a word that is already ingrained in such a broken system, we are choosing to shift to a new value chain-specific term. This term has blossomed into a concept that we choose to embrace and define in our own way:
In our experience, “market linkage” is about connecting farmers and producers more directly with markets. It’s about connecting aggregators more directly with upstream markets as well. And for us, it’s about connecting the end consumer all the way back to the source of production.
What’s more, a system of market linkage aspires to validation, verification, and authenticity, such that the transparency we share across value chains can grow into trust. Through partnerships, collaborations, and cooperation, we intend to build a new model of “market” that is about responsibility, accountability, justice, integrity, and creating a future existence in which humanity can thrive.
When all of us link together, we realize that our actions at every step of the value chain, from the land and water to the consumer at the other end, impacts everyone on that chain—and every human on the planet. With understanding of this interconnection comes commitment to building a capitalistic framework that goes beyond “freedom” and toward a higher level of intentionality meant to uplift humanity.
Market linkage is transparency. Market linkage is understanding impacts. Market linkage is uplifting farmers and communities, and providing options for consumers to know the impact of their purchases.
We at Producers Trust look forward to bringing this concept to our global value chains. Check out our approach to Market Linkage at our marketplace.
To stay up to date with our progress, sign up for our community updates: