Allanblackia II

Allanblackia, Standard Setting & Sustainable Supply Chain Management Project

Phase II: March 2010 – 2013 
Project Coordinator:
Location: Ghana

Project objective

Phase II of this project is designed to scale up production of Allanblackia oil whilst improving market access by developing a market differentiation system through an open and transparent multi-stakeholder development process following internationally recognised good ethical practices and ensuring buy-in at local level. In support of this there will a focus on increasing the production of Allanblackia through a multi faceted approach to crop systems and a continuation of the capacity building programme to improve the understanding and appropriate skills of key actors throughout the supply chain.

The overall objective of this project is to ensure that Allanblackia improves livelihoods and landscapes in the Allanblackia endemic communities of the Western Region of Ghana. The specific objective is to ensure that farmers of the Western Region of Ghana integrate Allanlackia into their farming systems thereby contributing to increase income levels.

The Development Objective (DO) of the project is that “Allanblackia improves livelihoods and landscapes in the Allanblackia endemic communities of Ghana”.

The Specific Objective (SO) of the project is that “Allanblackia farmers have improved access to markets for sustainably produced Allanblackia improving their livelihoods and the landscapes”

The expected benefits of the project include:

• Reduced poverty in target communities through new income generation possibilities;
• Increased export earnings and improved national-level economic development by mainstreaming Allanblackia into national level development priorities and programmes;
• Improved forest quality and sustainable supply of Allanblackia through restoration of forests and degraded lands with Allanblackia.

Project Results

The project is pursuing accomplishment of the following results:

1. The system of drafting and improving standards is in place; 
2. Mechanisms to ensure sustainable production and planting of Allanblackia are in place and functional; 
3. Opportunities related to Allanblackia business are socially equitable; 
4. Stakeholders have the skills and knowledge to adhere to standards

Beneficiaries and target audience
Same as for phase I of the project

I. Setting standards: During Phase I, data on biodiversity and socioeconomic issues were collected. This baseline will be used to further assess environmental, economic and social impacts on an iterative basis, and corrections applied using adaptive management techniques. From these, standards will be derived during Phase II. (See Result 1 above)

II. Support to wild picking: Initial indication on farmers interested in Allanblackia tree planting was derived during Phase I including preliminary tree planting activities by Novella Africa partners. Phase II will ensure that planting Allanblackia trees is done by following the principles of Forest Landscape Restoration. (See Result 2 above)

III. Equitable benefit sharing: Legal studies and data collection on socioeconomic issues carried out during Phase I revealed that no national legislation on NTFPs currently exists and that if prices of Allanblackia increase significantly, it could lead to conflicts in communities over the resultant rent. Phase II will concentrate on ensuring that growing of Allanblackia is done in a socially equitable manner. (See Result 3 above)

IV. Capacity building and communication: Training needs were mapped during Phase I. However, the number of people receiving training has to be increased and new aspects included in training sessions i.e. domestication and benefit flows along the supply chain. Similarly, radio campaigns will be continued during the Phase II. In terms of external communications, an Allanblackia portal was created during Phase I and maintenance of the site should be continued during Phase II and beyond. (See Result 4 above)

Based on the main lessons-learnt from Phase I and the problem identification undertaken with all Novella partners associated with Ghana, Phase II focused on the following key areas;

Development of a market differentiation system; In conjunction with the Union for Ethical Biotrade (UEBT) and all Novella partners a sector specific application has been developed. The outcomes from Phase 1 (namely the best practice guidelines and baseline information on Allanblackia related biological and socio-economic aspects) were used to support the development of these. UEBT committed to provide additional resources to system development with the Novella Partnership, supporting raising awareness of the benefits of its use and building capacity for implementation and local level auditing. Rainforest Alliance and the Forest Stewardship Council, as part of the UEBT system, were involved in supporting the auditing methodologies and provided support to local level auditors.

Increased stocking of Allanblackia trees; Through a Phase I assessment of potential harvesting volumes it was found that wild harvesting of Allanblackia fruits would only produce a small volume of oil in relation to the target required to make Allanblackia viable commodity in the long run. Based on this there is a now a requirement to invest in planting Allanblackia trees in agroforestry systems and degraded landscapes following the principles of Forest Landscape Restoration. The UEBT standard is applicable to a variety of production systems, including wild collection, agroforestry and small-medium size plantations and will therefore, be applicable to all systems that may be used to increase stocking rates of Allanblackia.

Equitable benefit sharing; Legal studies and data collection on socioeconomic issues conducted during Phase I revealed that no national legislation on NTFPs currently exists and that if prices of NTFP (such as Allanblackia) increase significantly, it could lead to conflicts in communities over the resultant rent. Civil society is seen as an instrumental partner in facilitating an enabling environment to work out land tenure and benefits sharing arrangements that anticipate and manage tensions that might result from intensified commercial NTFP development. Equitable benefit sharing is not only about additional monetary income but should ensure equitability throughout the supply chain by ensuring a fair pricing system, institutions are strengthened, traditional knowledge rights are protected and there is broader social development support. As demand for Allanblackia oil increases it is also important to ensure that the most vulnerable collectors in the community (such as women) have the means to improve their market share.

Improved market access; At present the market for Allanblackia is for use of the oil in food products, however, Allanblackia has been used for generations in other products such as soap and medicinal use. It is important to ensure that the supply chain of Allanblackia is robust enough to withstand any changes in market conditions to ensure sustainability of benefits to the producers and rural poor. During Phase 2 an assessment has been undertaken to further develop market knowledge in order to inform all key stakeholders of other market opportunities.

Capacity building; Utilising the strengths and lessons of this component from Phase I the capacity building programme will provide technical assistance to small producers and community enterprises on; good agricultural practices to help reach the level required by the standards (FORIG); good business management to help provisioning adequate qualities and quantities in a timely manner (Technoserve) ; and internal auditing capacity for monitoring and evaluation needed for adaptive management and on-going improvement towards, or compliance with the standard (UEBT).

Communications; Effective supply change management shall be enhanced through improved communications between partners. Since the end of Phase I the in-country partners have established a co-ordination body to ensure effective dissemination of materials (avoiding duplication) and use of resources between all partners. This body has clear links to enable discussion with relevant line government bodies such as the forestry commission and ministries related to trade. Local level communications shall be implemented through the existing radio campaign framework and other identified mechanisms related to standard development. In terms of external communications, the Allanblackia portal was created during Phase I and maintenance of the site should be continued during Phase II and beyond.

Project organization and implementation structure
Very similar to that for phase one except that in the phase II an additional partner was included to handle the market differentiation system development. This partner is Union for Ethical Biotrade (UEBT) and it reports directly to IUCN HQ. FORM International was also engaged in the later part of the project implementation phase to support FORIG in her activities.

As awareness grew of the potential of Allanblackia oil in the international market, interested organisations established the Novella Partnership, in order to maximise resources and synergies of all organisations working closely with Allanbalckia.

The Novella Partnership consists of the following organisations (there are other partners but below are the key partners in Ghana);

Organisation Role within the partnership


Supports sustainable and responsible use of the Allanblackia within tropical rainforests by utilising forest landscape management approaches. International and national inputs.


Supports research and development on Allanblackia domestication and capacity building for rural communities on good agricultural practices. International and national inputs.


Supports the development of local communities and their businesses for a profitable and sustainable Allanblackia supply chain in several African countries. Main purchaser of Allanblackia oil and has invested in ensuring Novel product approval of Allanblackia oil within the EU. Has developed patents for specific formulations for the use of Allanblackia within their food products.


Supports strengthening the capacity of local partner NGOs to achieve improved outputs and advises Unilever on the achievement of its development agenda.
Ghana specific 


Implementing partner for education awareness/sensitisation on all social, economic and environmental aspects of Allanblackia production; provides capacity building in all aspects of supply chain management.


Implementing partner responsible for Research and Development on Allanblackia cultivation and domestication.


Implementing partner responsible for training in business development skills to collectors and focal persons within the project areas. Provides input into analysis of viability models for Allanblackia,

Novel Development Ghana

Company purchasing the Allanblackia nuts from farmers for crude processing – of which they do in-country. They are responsible for the management of the Rural Resource Centres which provide support to farmers through training and material inputs to increase the supply of Allanblackia fruits. The company has a contract with Unilever to supply the oil at pre-agreed prices per ton.

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