While in East Africa both in hotel and looking in stores we find alot of imported food products, which is surprising as there are so much quality products produced locally. One of the products is honey but the industry is not very well developed in the region. As we find imported Fairtrade certified honey in the store shelves here in Sweden there is a market in Northern Europe so we hope to see more organic farmed and Fairtrade certified honey from East Africa also here in our stores.
Actually Africa has about 60% of the world’s unused cropland, providing great opportunity for agricultural business and job creation. When looking at agricultural business from East Africa we have notice 8 main issues/problems;
- Farmers and Cooperatives are too small for direct trade; we have to find larger or create larger entities as they cannot handle volumes from large companies in Europe. Small volumes demand small customers and many customers and that sales work is too hard to do when it comes to developing export business from Africa to Europe.
- Customers in Northern Europe demand more organic farming and fair traded, which has to be developed more in the Country if they want to grow trade with Europe. Certifications are expensive and most cannot afford it even if they work by using good business practises only. Now many retailers also demand double certifications, Fairtrade and Organic, and this is too difficult and expensive for many of the smaller producers in East Africa.
- Farms and land are underdeveloped and farming as such need to develop more to really develop the agricultural sector in competition with Europe, Asia and Latin and South America. There is a need for more new technology and new know-how.
- Development and profit growth are party blocked by too many middle men today so it is difficult to really improve profits for farmers.
- Foreign investors are blocking local supply chains for the regional retail channel; they import foreign goods when many local ones are good or better but have no market access.
- There are not enough good financial solutions for seed and growth capital.
- Many countries don’t have good logistic and infrastructure to move products quickly.
- Too much focus on bureaucracy and old rules that is in the way for quick growth and job creation, better political reforms could easily create 20-30 million new jobs before 2020 in Africa and maybe some 5 million of those in East Africa.
Don’t hesitate to contact us for sustainable business projects between Africa and Europe.