Supermarkets have expanded rapidly in SADC during the last decade, leading to fears that small-scale farmers and food processors could be excluded from access to urban markets. To assess the impact of supermarket chains on various participants in the supply chain, a survey was carried out in Botswana, Namibia and Zambia in 2004, 2005 and 2007. To determine the factors that influence the choice between the supermarket or traditional market channel and the impact of participation in the supermarket supply chain, a two-step treatment model was used. The results showed that over 80% of all processed food products in Botswana, Namibia and Zambia were imported from South Africa, and that supermarkets used a mixture of procurement systems for fresh fruit and vegetables and processed food products. Participation in the supermarkets channel had a positive impact on small-scale farmers’ incomes. Farmers who supplied fresh fruit and vegetables to supermarkets had a significantly higher income than those who supplied to traditional markets in Zambia. The expansion of South African supermarkets into the SADC countries may
be beneficial to small-scale farmers and therefore efforts should be made to incorporate them into the supermarkets’ fresh fruit and vegetable supply chain.