Our partners

Growth in itself is not an aim of NovoTRADE. Our purpose is to maintain flexibility and effectiveness, while keeping overhead as low as possible. For this reason, much of our energy is invested in the development of a network of complementary experts and consultancy firms. In different combinations, the members of this network will implement projects jointly, each delegated to a specific project component. In this way, major and more complex projects can be dealt with, without the pitfalls and overhead costs typical of bigger organisations. Co-operation with our co-founder TWIN Trading Ltd. is the first step of this strategy.

TWIN Trading is a founding shareholder of NovoTRADE Consult b.v. (30%), while NovoTRADE Consult is a non-executive member of TWIN and the TWIN Trading Board. The relationship between TWIN/TWIN Trading and NovoTRADE Consult stems from the years Bert Beekman spent working as director of the Max Havelaar Foundation.  This was an unwritten strategic partnership, in which TWIN contributed their producer support and development work while the Max Havelaar Foundation developed the market. The Kuapa Kokoo cocoa project in Ghana was given a boost by this partnership in the project's initial stages. In the participation of TWIN Trading in the equity of NovoTRADE Consult was expressed a common wish to create and join a network of organizations throughout the world who work consistently on the edge between development co-operation and trade. This multinational network of related but independent companies have a joint mission statement, philosophy and set of working methods.

Recently, we have also concluded an agreement with Agro Eco, a consultancy specializing in the organic production chain worldwide. As ecological concern is an inextricable element of sustainable development, we agreed to explore the potential of synergy with Agro Eco. 

Brief information on our partners can be found below, and for an overview of our working areas see our track record. For more information, visit the TWIN and Agro Eco websites.

Twin Trading


Who is TWIN?

TWIN is, in essence, comprised of two separate companies:
  • Twin Ltd, a registered charity carrying out producer support and development work mainly in Africa and Latin America.  Twin Ltd provides a range of technical assistance and training activities to improve the organisational and governance capabilities of the organisations that, in turn, assist primary product producers to improve the quality and reliability of their output.  Twin's focus has been on developing the trading strengths of our coffee and cocoa producers although it also works closely with farmers of peanuts, sisal products and cotton.
  • Twin Trading Ltd is a not-for-profit trading company, which buys the coffee and nuts directly from our producer partners.  For the past 7 years our highly experienced traders have been responsible for sourcing, blending and overseeing the manufacture and packaging of coffee for Cafédirect, one of the first fair trade coffees to be placed on supermarket shelves throughout Britain.  Twin Trading Ltd also imports and wholesales commodities to both fair trade and commercial markets in Europe, USA and Japan.
The companies were founded in 1985 by the Greater London Council at a Conference convened to discuss the continued unequal trading relationship between North & South and to conceptualise a new approach to trade. TWIN was to be the instrument to implement this strategy. In the early years TWIN tried many activities and traded many products and launched the trade development programmes that have marked our success. Now TWIN specialises in commodities, principally coffee and cocoa produced by small-scale farmers in Latin America and in Africa.


TWIN seeks to use trade to positively redress the imbalance between North & South, to build better livelihoods for the poorest and the weakest in the trading chain and to promote development and longer-term shifts in the political and economic environment.

We work on trade development with organisations of farmers and artisans so that they gain:

  • greater awareness, the ability to plan, think strategically and to participate proactively in the market place whether locally or internationally.
  • greater bargaining power through knowledge, experience and access to infrastructure and inputs.
  • more resources for the community and its more equitable distribution so they can invest in improved livelihoods and human resources for the next generation.

TWIN's Approach

TWIN seeks to achieve its aims by working collaboratively with producer organisations to form long term, transparent and non-exclusive relationships. We assess all aspects of their needs, skills product and local market environment.

Tel: (44) 171-375-1221 
Fax: (44) 171-375-1337 
Email: info@twin.org.uk 
Web: http://www.twin.org.uk/ 

Agro Eco


Company profile

Agro Eco is a consultancy in the organic production chain. With its extensive experience Agro Eco is a constant factor in a sector on the move. Organic agriculture is rapidly growing in Europe and organic products have become a familiar sight in the shops. The sector is high on the political agenda at an international, national, regional as well as a local level.

Apart from agricultural products, the market shows a growing interest for other sustainably produced products. To stay in the front line of developments, Agro Eco is active in the field of aquaculture and fisheries. The latest activity is forestry, since there is an increasing interest in sustainably produced timber and non-timber forest products. As a well-known international organic consultancy agency, Agro Eco has wide experience in integrating production with nature and environment. In this, focus is on market potential as well as on sustainability. This experience can be easily applied to the new working areas of forestry, aquaculture and fisheries. The objective is to eventually introduce products on the market with an organic or sustainable label.

Working world-wide

Agro Eco is engaged in a wide variety of activities, as can be seen in our annual report. Many of our projects in the Netherlands are regional programmes in organic agriculture. In these programmes we supply information and support to those producers and processors in the region interested in conversion. Contacts are also made with feed suppliers, banks and local and regional governments. Projects abroad are even more diverse. Many organic products on the shelves of health food and conventional outlets are the result of projects in which Agro Eco has been involved. In the last ten years we have carried out projects in over thirty-five countries all over the world, with products ranging from cotton in Mozambique or vegetables in Kazakhstan to bananas in Costa Rica. Additionally, our consultants have supported several countries in the establishment of national certification bodies.

In our point of view producers not only need support in their conversion, but also in the marketing of their produce. For this Agro Eco's contacts in international trade are of great value, in both organic trade and increasingly also in conventional (supermarket) trade. In countries where organic agriculture is still in its infancy, Agro Eco can advise governments in their strategy to stimulate this sustainable type of agriculture, as has happened several times in Eastern Europe.


Agro Eco prefers to work with groups of producers, as from our experience group members support each other and enhance each other's enthusiasm. Apart from that a group of farmers is naturally a more interesting partner for processors and wholesalers than individuals. It is also easier to co-operate on matters such as crop choice, varietiesand shared machinery use. The aim of all projects is that they can run independently when our involvement ends. During the project this has to be worked on, for example by training local counterparts to gradually take over management.

Organic production and fair trade have long existed alongside each other without co-operating much. Agro Eco would like these sectors to integrate further. To that effect we try to influence the organisations concerned and we carry out projects in which both aspects are more closely linked.


Agro Eco can give support in a large variety of activities in the areas of organic agriculture, sustainable forestry, aquaculture and fisheries:
  • project development including funding
  • project management
  • project evaluation
  • development of the entire production chain
  • advice and support in conversion
  • advice in technical problems
  • preparation for certification
  • promotion and marketing support
  • feasibility studies
  • training
Agro Eco Consultancy 
Molenstraat 60 
P.O. Box 63 
6720 AB  Bennekom 
Tel: 0318-420405 
Fax: 0318-414820 
Email: office@agroeco.nl 
Web: http://www.agroeco.nl/agroeco/ 

For more information about our partners, visit the TWIN and Agro Eco websites. For an overview of NovoTRADE's working areas, see our track record.
email: info@novotrade.nl
last updated: 29 march 2000
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