The project took a participatory approach and did not use a standard set of activities but developed a "tailor-made" programme of activities for each supply chain. Project interventions have been based on a participatory needs assessment of each selected supply chain. A programme of activities, usually for one-year periods was agreed upon in collaboration with the beneficiary group and/or exporter.
In the cases of Cameroon, Burkina Faso and the sugarloaf pineapples in Ghana, export already took place when the project started. In these cases, activities focused on the weakest part of the chain or on activities necessary to obtain certification. In the other cases, supply chains had to be set up from scratch, and activities started from the level of organization and capabilities already present.
Contracts were drawn up with the exporter and/or farmer group, to give them the means to implement as many activities themselves. For farmer groups, the negotiations of the contract and meeting delivery requirements before the next instalment was a learning activity in itself and prepared them for more demanding and less flexible commercial contracts.
Only when technical assistance was necessary, outside expertise was sought and funded through the project. Whenever possible, technical assistance was sourced in the country of operation to increase the local knowledge base and improve local networks.