Hello dear reader and loyal Mawsam costumer, we are introducing the monthly newsletter, an informative text that will be opening the eyes and widening the horizons on the work that is being done and mostly on the impact we aim to achieve.
As you may know by now, Mawsam is a startup that links local small scale producers with demanding clients. This linkage opens new selling channels to producers and provides good and unindustrialized quality products for consumers.
Lebanon has been subject to a ‘supermarketization’ path ever since the early 90s, right after the end of our civil war. The reconstruction strategies adopted back then have centralized the development discourse and neglected rural areas and sectors like agriculture and agri-food processing. The result was an immense bubble of import dependency – translated by the overcrowding amount of supermarkets in such a small country – and the need for alternative channels to help smallholders reach consumers.
The raw materials used to create the products are either coming from the smallholders’ lands or from their surrounding areas/villages. Meaning that every purchase will not only affect the direct producer but will also indirectly maintain, although minimally, whoever is involved in the value chain. Mawsam has been able to collaborate with 78 small scale producers coming from rural areas and from urban one. They offer a wide range of variety from provisions, fresh fruits and vegetables, honey, crackers, cookies, soaps, wellness, alcohol, bread, agricultural kits, etc. These products are not available all year round, some of them are seasonal and some others are facing the scarcity of raw materials due to environmental degradation. Additionally, the standardization may not always reach its full capacity due to the fact that many products are hand made and/or were subject to a mixture of traditional and modern ways of production. We are very keen on reflecting this side of our story, as much as we are keen on reflecting the story of each product and its journey to reach you.
In future newsletters we will talk more about the impact on communities, the tangible empowerment that exists but may not be well exposed, and on how consuming these kinds of products will help protecting the environment.
Stay safe and mentally sane,
Your friends from Mawsam