Over the last couple of decades, there has been major growth in global supply chains for highvalue tree crop commodities such as cocoa, coffee, oil palm and rubber. This rise in demand has partly been driven by socio-economic drivers such as population growth and rising incomes (Chiputwa et al 2015). In response to this growing demand, global supply chains for tree commodities have increasingly become more modern and vertically integrated. Thus, a single actor can control one or more stages along the supply chain. The structures in the supply chains of tree commodities profoundly affect the socio-economic welfare of smallholder farmers and other actors along the supply chain. Vertical integration, on the one hand, can be an important medium for linking farmers to more stable and lucrative international markets and has the potential to benefit from higher prices, improved quality, access to inputs, extension, and credit (Asfaw et al 2010, Maertens and Swinnen 2012).
Chiputwa B, Adomaa F O, Ihli H J, Rusinamhodzi L