Palestinian companies face many bottlenecks when targeting export markets. Especially pressing are limited access to water and land and a weak enabling environment. Natural ingredients producers are particularly affected. Exporters rely on domestic raw materials which are not available according to consistent volumes and quality. Moreover, companies lack information and entrepreneurial skills for production, business and export planning.

In a joint effort, the Netherlands Representative Office and CBI agreed to investigate the possibilities of a CBI intervention in the natural ingredients sector. ProFound worked on the first step in this process: an in-depth Value Chain Analysis (VCA). Together with Klaus Dürbeck Consulting, ProFound’s natural ingredients expert Robbie Hogervorst looked at export potential, the bottlenecks in the chain, and CBI’s ability to solve them in a sustainable manner. The team involved the main stakeholders in the sector and paid particular attention to how CBI can cooperate with other organisations to address value chain bottlenecks.

The VCA included extensive desk research and consultation of European buyers and experts, as well as a fact-finding and verification mission to the West Bank. During this 10-day mission about 40 private businesses, NGOs, public institutions, research institutions and donors were consulted. The mission was concluded with a conference involving key stakeholders to share and verify the preliminary results.