The development of China has progressed rapidly in recent years. Yet, the Yunnan Province remains one of China’s least developed provinces, with more than 5 million people living in poverty. The Tibetan high plateau where people live on 3000 to 5000 altimeters is one of the rural regions strongly affected by poverty. While the agriculture industry is growing, barley, the main raw material for bread and noodles is almost fully imported from abroad. Shangri-la therefore wanted to establish a local supply chain, train farmers to produce high-quality products and provide job opportunities. The project consists of two key components:
Within the project, a European expert has developed the training materials and trained trainers. 150 small-scale farmers have received training in biological cultivation, Good Agricultural Practices (GAP) and international quality standards. The selected farmers are then planting highland barley for Shangri-la through open contract farming agreements. Thereby, small farmers have at least one secure customer, fixed prices and operating income and are also allowed to supply to other customers.
Shangri-la has also assisted a local business partner to set-up a malthouse according to international standards. To ease the beginning of this new set-up, a commitment to purchase the malthouse’s products has signed. Belgian and Swiss experts have developed apprenticeship programmes at the malt-house for maltsters and food technicians and train local trainers. Every 1.5 years, 10 trainees are conducting an apprenticeship as maltsters and 10 trainees as food technicians. At least 50% of apprenticeships have been offered to a local orphanage.