The German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ) and INA are promoting promising approaches to fulfilling corporate due diligence with a new competition fund

  • The focus here is on the core topics of the German Supply Chain Act and the forthcoming EU Directive on Corporate Sustainability Due Diligence as well as the forthcoming EU Regulation on Deforestation-free Products.  
  • Together with the agri-food sector and its suppliers, we want to achieve greater sustainability in global agricultural supply chains and improve the living conditions of smallholders and plantation workers. The focus is therefore on practical implementation on the ground in BMZ's partner countries. 
  • Projects are funded with a sum of up to EUR 123,000 over a period of up to 12 months

There is currently no further call for proposals. Further information on the general conditions of the competition can be found here.

If you have questions, please feel free to write to us: ddf(at)


Many of the products and raw materials that we take for granted in our lives are manufactured or extracted at high risk to human rights and the environment. In June 2021, the German government therefore passed the Supply Chain Due Diligence Act (LkSG), which came into force on January 1, 2023. The law serves to improve the international human rights situation by setting requirements for responsible supply chain management for companies. The aim is to improve the protection of fundamental human rights in global supply chains. Similarly, the EU Regulation on Deforestation-Free Products (EUDR), which came into force on June 30, 2023, aims to prevent deforestation and forest degradation. In addition, the Corporate Sustainability Due Diligence Directive (CSDDD) is being planned at EU level, which will further specify the requirements.  

The adoption of the new government regulations presents companies with new challenges. At the same time, the regulations offer the opportunity to make supply chains more transparent and resilient.  

The German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ) and the Initiative for Sustainable Agricultural Supply Chains (INA) support projects to fulfill corporate due diligence obligations in global supply chains: Through the Due Diligence Fund (DDF), companies in the agri-food sector, together with public-benefit partners, can apply for funding. The focus is on the impacts in the production countries.  

What is the objective?

We want to identify and financially support promising, practical and innovative approaches to corporate due diligence. We want to show that compliance with the LkSG, EUDR and CSDDD is feasible - even beyond the specified minimum standards. 

The focus is on both human rights and environmental due diligence on the ground in the partner countries. Those potentially affected, such as smallholders and plantation workers, should be specifically involved in the design and implementation of the project and benefit from the measures. 

Companies should be supported by the DDF to establish and continuously implement sustainable processes in accordance with the regulations. Through monitoring and evaluation of the pilot projects and a public presentation of the results, added value is generated for companies. In this way, best practices or piloted approaches are created, which they can adapt for other or their own supply chains.

Which projects are being funded?

A total of 13 projects will be funded from two rounds of competition. Read more about the individual projects here.

© GIZ / Stella Marraccini

Coffee Community Networks with Rural Women Leadership

Commodity: Coffee

Region: Huila, Colombia

Target group: 2,350 coffee farmers, 9,800 family members

Funding: EUR 123,000

Project period: 01.09.23-28.02.26

Involved parties: SKN Caribecafé SAS is a Colombian green coffee exporter; ALDI Einkauf SE & Co. oHG is one of the leading international retail enterprises; German-Colombian Chamber of Commerce is the central player in German foreign trade promotion on behalf of the Federal Republic of Germany 

© GIZ / Dirk Ostermeier

Developing a Scalable Risk Analysis Tool to Prevent and Remedy Risks, especially for Women

Commodity: Herbs and Spices

Region: Cairo, Fayoum, and Aswan in Egypt

Target group: 50 factory workers, 250 smallholder farmers and their family members

Funding: EUR 95,000

Project period: 01.11.23-31.08.24

Partners: Worlée NaturProdukte GmbH is a German company that refines, processes, and trades plant-based natural raw materials for the food, beverage and animal feed industry; CARE Egypt Foundation, is an Egyptian non-governmental organization working on the improvement of peoples’ livelihoods in Egypt 

© GIZ / Paola Solís

Improving Livelihood and Resilience of Organic Cocoa Producers

Commodity: Cocoa

Region: Kono District, Sierra Leone

Target group: 6,915 smallholder farmers (1,750 female); and indirectly 34,000 family and community members

Funding: EUR 120,500
Business Partners: EUR 120,500

Project period: 01.09.23-31.08.25

Partners: dm-drogerie markt GmbH + Co. KG is the largest drug store chain in Germany, Maestrani Schweizer Schokoladen AG, based in Switzerland, produces and distributes Swiss chocolate and confectionery products, Fairtrade Deutschland e.V. is a nonprofit association and the national Fairtrade organization for Germany, Fairtrade Africa is an independent member of the wider International Fairtrade movement and represents Fairtrade certified producers in Africa and the Middle East 

© GIZ / Dirk Ostermeier

Paving the Way to Better Cotton Traceability

Commodity: Cotton

Region: Maharashtra and Gujarat, India

Target group: 400 smallholder farmers, 3 ginners and 6 intermediaries in Maharashtra, 400 smallholder farmers, 3 ginners and 6 intermediaries in Gujarat

Funding: EUR 100,000
Business Partner: EUR 100,000

Project period: 01.06.23-31.08.24

Partners: With over 1,300 stores in 17 European countries and more than 27,000 employees, C&A AG is one of Europe’s leading fashion retailers. Better Cotton a multi-stakeholder initiative, is the world's leading cotton sustainability initiative, with the aim of promoting sustainable production methods. 

© GIZ / Dirk Ostermeier

Promoting Responsible Purchasing Practices of Natural Fragrance Supply Chains

Commodity: Botanicals

Region: Coimbatore (Tamil Nadu), Barabanki and Ramnager (Uttar Pradesh), India, and Faiyoum Governorate, Beni Suef Governorate (Middle Egypt), Minya Governorate (Upper Egypt), Egypt

Target group: Herbs, spices, and fragrance supply chains involving approximately 2,000 farmers and farm workers (pickers), primarily women

Funding: EUR 120,000
Business Partner: EUR 120,000

Project period: 01.09.23-31-08.24

Partners: Symrise AG is a German supplier of fragrances, flavorings, cosmetic active ingredients and raw materials, as well as functioning ingredients. UEBT is a non-profit association that promotes sourcing with respect. It sets good practices for how companies and their suppliers source specialty ingredients for the beauty, food, natural pharmaceuticals, flavours & fragrances, herbs and spices sectors, among others.  


A Farmer-Centric Digitization Approach to Due Diligence

Commodity: Cocoa, Avocado, Coffee

Region: Sierra Leone and Ethiopia

Target group: 7.000 cocoa farmers, 7.000 avocado farmers, and 370 coffee farmers

Funding: EUR 123,000 

Business Partner: EUR 123,000

Partners: Tradin Organic Agriculture B.V., is a global company and frontrunner in sustainably sourced ingredients, Fairfood is a Dutch foundation accelerating the change towards sustainable food systems by developing innovative solutions that enable businesses to improve their responsible business practices. 

© GIZ / Carla Boettger

Creating a Sustainable Value Chain for Groundnuts

Commodity: Groundnuts

Region: Milala, Lilongwe, Malawi

Target group: 100 smallholder farmer households

Funding: EUR 123,000

Partners: Midsona Deutschland GmbH is one of Germany’s leading organic food manufacturers. Stichting Grown Farm Incubator, a Dutch foundation, supports small-scale farmers to become more profitable and sustainable. 

© GIZ / Joerg Boethling

Enhancing traceability in raw cotton supply chains in Pakistan

Commodity: Cotton

Region: Punjab and Sindh, Pakistan  

Target Group: 495,000 cotton farmers, 10 commission agents, 40 intermediaries, 20 ginners, all brokers cooperating with the pilot gins, as well as up to 77 spinners

Funding: EUR 99,990 

Project period: 01.10.22-01.04.24

Partners: Adidas AG is a Germany-based global leader in the sporting goods industry. Better Cotton, a multi-stakeholder initiative, is the world's leading cotton sustainability initiative with the aim of promoting sustainable production methods. 


Cross-company grievance mechanism in the cocoa sector

Commodity: Cocoa

Region: Côte d’Ivoire

Target Group: 0.8–1.3 million smallholder cocoa farming households and workers, especially women and children

Funding: EUR 120,000

Project period: 01.11.22-31.12.26

Partners: The partnership consists of three multinational corporations, namely Nestlé Deutschland AG, Mondelēz Europe GmbH and Ferrero Deutschland, a non-profit organisation that represents the chocolate industry, Stiftung der Deutschen Kakao- und Schokoladenwirtschaft, and four non-governmental organisations that represent civil society, Inkota-Netzwerk, Rainforest Alliance, Fairtrade Deutschland e.V. and Hamburger Stiftung für Wirtschaftsethik

© GIZ / Johannes Luderich

Generating new income opportunities for women through Gum Arabic harvesting

Commodity: Gum Arabic

Region: Karamoja, Uganda

Target Group: 750–1,000 women

Funding: EUR 95,000

Business Partner: up to EUR 190,000

Project period: 01.12.22-31.05.23

Partners: Norevo GmbH is an internationally established trader and processor of various natural raw materials based in Hamburg. Native Seeds Moyo is a community-based organization based in Northern Uganda working for poverty alleviation and improving life quality.

© GIZ / Silas Koch

Recommendations for a joint grievance mechanism in the Brazilian coffee supply chain

Commodity: Coffee

Region: Alta Mogiana, São Paulo (Jeriquara and Pedregulho), and Minas Gerais (Claraval, Ibiraci), Brazil (comprising approx. 5,000 coffee farms)

Target Group: Stakeholders involved in coffee cultivation, including smallholder farming households, entrepreneurs, seasonal and plantation workers

Funding: EUR 100,000

Business Partner: EUR 100,000

Project period: 01.11.22-31.03.24

Partners: The partnership consists of the four coffee producers Melitta Group Management GmbH & Co. KG, Jacobs Douwe Egberts DE GmbH, Nestlé Deutschland AG and Ofi (Olam Food Ingredients) / Olam Deutschland GmbH, either based in Germany, the Netherlands or Switzerland, the civil society organisation Solidaridad Deutschland e.V. and the German Coffee Association (Deutscher Kaffeeverband e.V.), representing the interests of the entire German coffee industry.

© GIZ / Dirk Ostermeier

Risk assessments of sourcing areas of botanical ingredients

Commodity: Botanicals (incl. herbs and spices)

Region: Brazil, Cameroon, China, Egypt, Ghana, India, Indonesia, Madagascar, Mexico, Morocco, Peru, South Africa, Tanzania, Vietnam

Target Group: Smallholder farmers and collectors

Funding: EUR 40,000

Business Partner: EUR 40,000

Project period: 01.01.23-31.07.23

Partners: Mast-Jägermeister SE is a German liquor manufacturer that sells its products worldwide. Union for Ethical Biotrade UEBT is a non-profit organisation that has established a globally recognised standard for ethical trade in natural resources.

Human rights due diligence in the cashew sector

Commodity: Cashew

Region: Bouake, Côte d’Ivoire

Target Group: 200 workers and members of smallholder households; including 300 women and girls

Funding: EUR 23,000

Project period: 01.09.23-28.02.24

Partners: Nutwork Handelsgesellschaft mbH is one of the leading suppliers of nuts and dried fruits to food retailers and discounters in Germany and Europe. Nitidæ, a non-profit organisation, designs and manages projects that protect the environment while contributing to the local economy in rural areas.