Exploring Opportunities for Sustainable Organic Fruits Export Business Partnerships
Organic agriculture has the potential to generate significant incomes for households, thus potentially uplifting smallholder-farming households from poverty cycles and food/nutrition insecurity. Access to markets, increasing profits and health considerations (farmers/their families) are among the key factors identified as driving smallholder organic production. However, not all farmers are effectively linked to markets. Farmers view the lack of/limited marketing opportunities as one of the crucial gaps in sustainable farming.
This led to the birth of Participatory market chain approach (PMCA). The objective of PMCA process is to involve all stakeholders within the agriculture value chain in the marketing process. Currently the farmers involved in this process are from Murang’a County as a pilot initiative which can later be adopted to other regions in Kenya.
The Organic Fruits for Export Business Group will have Knowledge exchange sessions between Farmers, Traders and Experts in various fields. To take part in the sessions take a look at the time table below:
2. Premiums Calculating premiums based on market profiles
Steps to developing a Brand
Zoom Link: https://zoom.us/j/96614836049?pwd%3Da2IveHpDVE55cExJdEREOFpWQ3VSQT09&sa=D&source=calendar&ust=1612689932170000&usg=AOvVaw0mUJxRJQ7ijBoYT19n5446
The Organic Fruits for Export Business Group (OFEBG) has met three times i.e.
From the meeting several key gaps were identified by farmers and the processors involved, to bridge some of the gaps activities have been undertaken which include;
COMPENDIUM OF MINUTES OF ALL MEETINGS HELD
Table of Contents. 1
Min 1/OFEBG/03-12-2020 Objectives
Min 2/OFEBG/03-12-2020 Introduction
Each participant introduced him/herself and the role they play along the organic fruits for export value chain. Below is a summary of the stakeholders in the meeting.
Key crop of interest that emerged from the discussion was organic avocado.
Min 3/OFEBG/03-12-2020 Challenges presented within the Organic Avocado chain
Min 4/OFEBG/03-12-2020 Market Opportunities.
Olivado EPZ a processor and exporter of avocado stated that the current demand for organic Avocado is high and as a company they are not able to meet the demand for organic fresh Avocado and oil.
Identify opportunities within the Organic Avocado value chain;
Min 5/OFEBG/03-12-2020 Way forward
Clement Adongo Rurinja
Min 6/OFEBG/11-01-2021 Preliminaries
Meeting started at 12:08pm East African Time (EAT) by a word of prayer from the group facilitator Clement Rurinja. All members present were requested to introduce themselves.
Min 7/ OFEBG/11-01-2021 Reading of previous minutes
Minutes from the previous meeting held on 3/12/2020 were read by Clement.
Min 8/ OFEBG/11-01-2021 Update Stakeholders engagements
Since organic fruits for export group was formed on 3/12/2020 there has been several engagement between the organic farmers (SabaSaba and Kangari Farmers) and Olivado EPZ who is a processor. The engagement done so far is in organic avocado for export.
Update from Lawrence Gitonga
On 11th December 2020 Millicent and Alex (Olivado EPZ staffs) met with Duncan Ndirangu (Organic Agriculture Center of Kenya), Lawrence Gitonga (Facilitator) and Samuel Maina (Producer Representative). The following were discussed;
Update from John Kamande
Update from Edwin Gitaari
Since 3rd December 2020 Olivado has engaged both farmers from Kangari and Saba. Edwin stated there is a demand for organic avocado and currently they are not meeting the demand. The company needs to contract more organic farmers to meet the current demand. He indicated there is a need to fast track the process of contracts since the avocado season starts from March to enable proper planning.
Questions and Reactions
Andreas: What type of certification are we talking about?
Irene: Who is supporting the farmers from Kangari and Saba with organic information?
Martin from KOAN shade some light regarding certification. For local market the certification can be done by KOAN but for Export market we have to involve third part certification.
Andreas from Africrops! Offered to support with information and experiences in the certification process and marketing in the export field.
Edwin from Olivado mention that if the farmers are contracted with the company it’s easy for them to be certified against European, Japanese and North America organic standards. Edwin requested farmers to be proactive in their engagement.
Ndirangu from OACK pledge the support from their organization to capacity build both the farmers from Kangari and Saba.
Min 9/ OFEBG/11-01-2021 Next Meeting
Members agreed on having a physical meeting on 15th January 2021 in WAKAS Demonstration farm (Saba Saba) at 11am.
Min 10/ OFEBG/11-01-2021 Way Forward
Farmers to come with statistic of the volume they can be able to supply in the avocado value chain.
Min 11/ OFEBG/11-01-2021 Adjournment
Meeting ended with a word of prayer by Emma Njoki at 13:16pm E.A.T.
Clement Rurinja (Facilitator)
Min 12/ OFEBG/15-01-2021 Preliminaries
Meeting started at 11:30 am East African Time (EAT) by a word of prayer from a member of SabaSaba Farmers group Margaret Ndung’u. Mr. Clement Rurinja (facilitator) requested all members to introduce themselves.
Min 13/ OFEBG/15-01-2021 Stakeholders Updates
Since organic fruits for export group was formed on 3/12/2020 there has been several engagement between the organic farmers (SABASABA and Kangari farmers) and Olivado EPZ who is a processor. Mr. Peter from Olivado informed the members that they deal with 3,500 farmers from 5 counties. Currently the supply of avocados from already contracted farmers is less than the demand required from the 32 countries in the world where they export. He mentioned that 85% of their fresh avocados and oils is for export.
Irene Kadzere from FiBL gave a brief overview on how the farmers have been identified from the PROECO project which looked at productivity, profitability and sustainability. She further said that Marketing of organic products was among the challenges which led to the inception of Participatory Market Chain Approach (PMCA).
One on one engagement among the farmers and stakeholders along the organic fruits for export will go a long way in bridging the marketing gap. Three thematic groups were formed to foresee the market development which are;
Update from Peter, Olivado
Olivado updated on organic avocado farmers’ recruitment process. The process is as follows;
Update from Duncan, OACK
Duncan updated everyone on the engagement with their farmers on the trainings on organic farming and promised to work with other stakeholders to support farmers on progressive organic farming to meet all the practices and safe standards.
Min 14/ OFEBG/15-01-2021 Certification
Certification is important in organic marketing and stakeholders engaged on what certification process is relevant.
Inputs from James Mureithi from control union
Certification focuses more on the process of how the product is grown in an organic way. The process is from production until it reaches the consumer.
There is individual and group certification (ICS for export and PGS for local market),
Export certification is governed by the target market region and who uses the certification standards.
Examples of certificates are:
EU is the largest with 28 member states followed by EAOPS (Kilimo Hai) with 6 members. NOP is for northern America but acceptable with Canada also known as USDA-NOP.
Min 15/ OFEBG/15-01-2021 Question and Reactions
What is the prospects for the avocado market?
There is huge market for organic avocado from Kenya. Currently the market share for Olivado EPZ is as follows.
Olivado EPZ mentioned that Africa and Asia demand in organic avocado is getting high and will be above USA and Europe. 20% of avocado in the global market is organic and the demand is getting higher.
How do Olivado deal with farmers?
They contract farmers directly and not groups.
They have individual trace number and GPRS
They do certification on behalf of the farmers and the contract is signed
Have field team who visit farmers twice a month to guarantee that the farmers adhere to the guidelines
They offer trainings for growth and certification.
They do harvesting on behalf of the farmers.
They offer transport for proper handling and hygiene standards.
There is a premium for the products.
Who prepares farmers for certification?
In the case the farmers are contracted by Olivado then the company prepares the farmers for certification. They also cover the certification cost on behalf of the farmers.
Where do you sell?
Their products are sold to 33 countries across the world.
What are other opportunities?
There is increasing demand for fresh organic avocados and avocados oils both for local consumption and export.
What are the mitigations to challenges facing farmers in Organic avocado production?
OACK is working with farmers on trainings on preparations and use of bio-pesticides and Bio-fertilizers to increase production and have healthy and safe products for consumption.
They added that markets linkages will motivate farmers to better production.
Min 16/ OFEBG/15-01-2021 Way Forward
There was a breakup meeting for Olivado and farmers to discuss on business engagement.
An agreement was met that farmers and Olivado EPZ will meet with farmers groups to forge a way ahead. The two meeting dates will be communicated upon the confirmation of the availability of the co-ordination team.
Min 17/ OFEBG/15-01-2021 A.O.B
HERMES and control union representatives valued the PMCA process and said it’s the way to go for future market by involving all the stakeholders other than initiating the pact between the stakeholders. They also pledged to participate on the process especially in increasing consumer awareness.
Min 18/ OFEBG/15-01-2021 Adjournment
Meeting ended with a word of prayer by Clement Rurinja at 14:30pm E.A.T.
Lawrence GITONGA (Facilitator)
Welcome Stranger! Want to be included in the next Organic Fruit for Export Business meeting?
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Kenya Organic Agriculture Network
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