WFC Stand

africrops! at the World Food Convention 2018

This year’s World Food Convention was organized by the Tagesspiegel publishing house and focused on the key question: “How can we feed the world without destroying it?”. Federal Minister of Food and Agriculture Julia Klöckner and Federal Minister for Economic Cooperation and Development Gerd Müller were among the speakers of a high-level programme.

Our stand at the World Food Convention 2018

Our stand at the World Food Convention 2018

Special attention was paid to Africa and the topic of food security – areas in which africrops! is active right from its inception. For years, we have been promoting sustainable agriculture that cultivates high-quality agricultural products and creates new sales markets. In his speech, Federal Minister Müller called for fair trade and fair prices for African producers. We share this demand and are convinced that long-term business relationships can only be established and continued through fair trade at eye level with our African partners.

Federal Minister for Food and Agriculture Julia Klöckner Foto: Susanne Aschenkersbaumer, Tagesspiegel

Federal Minister for Food and Agriculture Julia Klöckner
Photo: Susanne Aschenkersbaumer, Tagesspiegel

Another topic of discussion was global malnutrition and the need to develop solutions to tackle it. Especially Moringa and Baobab offer a whole range of possibilities to counteract malnutrition in the affected countries. Thanks to its special nutritional profile, Moringa is already being used in some of our projects to combat malnutrition in Tanzania, Gambia and Namibia.

At our stand the nearly 500 participants were not only able to taste our delicious and healthy smoothies, but also learn a lot about the africrops! approach and the many projects on the African continent. Once again, we have proven that Baobab and Moringa are African premium products that are enjoying increasing popularity in both Africa and Germany.

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Baobab is THE new superfood

africrops! sources baobab directly from Africa where it is harvested under sustainable conditions by local farmers

africrops! sources baobab directly from Africa where it is harvested under sustainable conditions by local farmers

Although the baobab fruit has been used in its countries of origins since ancient times, it is only recently that health-conscious consumers in Europe have become aware of it. Containing a range of nutrients, packing large amounts of vitamin C, magnesium, iron and antioxidants along with other health benefits, the fruit has been touted as the new “superfood”.

Large supermarket chains all over Europe now stock baobab on their shelves, signaling that the product is becoming more mainstream. At africrops! we notice the same development, responding to an ever-increasing demand for baobab, not only as a bulk product but also for our “The Essence of Africa” baobab powder, which is available in major German supermarkets such as Rewe, Edeka and Alnatura.

Organic baobab powder from "The Essence of Africa"

Organic baobab powder from “The Essence of Africa”

The increased demand for baobab seems to be particularly strong in the UK, where the British food distributor Ocado reported an increase of 27% in weekly sales of baobab products since the beginning of 2018, according to the industry news platform “The Grocer”.

Product developers also seem to have discovered baobab as a great ingredient for various products. The British dairy company Yeo Valley now released a limited-edition Baobab-Vanilla yogurt, becoming one of the first major brands to use baobab as a main ingredient. This has created a very positive response among consumers. Thanks to its versatile nature, baobab is used in a wide range of goods such as gin, chocolate, dairy products and even beauty products.

With the demand for baobab growing, so is the concern for sustainable harvesting practices of the fruit. It is therefore important to ensure that the product is traded fairly and that its export does not jeopardize the availability and affordability of the fruit as a resource for the local population. At africrops! we make sure that our partners meet sustainable agricultural criteria and that the farmers receive a fair paycheck for their high-quality product.

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The africrops! approach was met with great enthusiasm at the 2nd German-African Diaspora Conference

Dr. Wesselmann während seines Vortrags über africrops!

Dr. Wesselmann during his presentation of africrops!

Our managing director Dr. Andreas Wesselmann recently travelled to Dortmund to present the business model of africrops! at the 2nd German-African Diaspora Conference.

The conference was organised by the Association of Cameroonian Engineers and Computer Scientists (VKII) and gave experts from various institutions the opportunity to discuss the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals, their implementation and significance for development here in Germany and in Africa. This year’s conference focused on the SDGs aimed at the elimination of hunger (SDG 2), gender equality (SDG 5), clean water and sanitation (SDG 6), reduced inequalities (SDG 10) and sustainable cities and communities (SDG 11).

The Essence of Africa products caught a lot of interest during the conference

The Essence of Africa products caught a lot of interest during the conference

During a discussion round on “best practices”, Dr. Wesselmann explained in detail the africrops! approach and the cooperation possibilities with farmers in Africa. He also outlined the necessary framework conditions that need to be met locally in order for the business model to work and establish long-term business relationships.

In many African countries, agriculture is rarely perceived as a profitable economic sector that can generate a sustainable income. Our aim is to change this perception and conferences like this help to achieve a shift in the mindset of the audience: immediately after the presentation, many of the participants approached Dr. Wesselmann and expressed their interest in working with africrops!. Concrete ideas for new projects are now being developed.

Please find more information about the conference here.

Tetteh

Former Ghanaian Minister visits africrops!

How can economic relations between West African countries and Germany be improved? This was the central topic of a discussion round between Hanna Tetteh and the africrops! management team in Berlin.

Hanna Tetteh together with the africrops! management team

Hanna Tetteh together with the africrops! management team

Ms. Tetteh is currently residing in Berlin at the invitation of the Robert Bosch Academy and takes part in the Richard von Weizsäcker Fellowship programme. In Ghana, she worked as a lawyer and pursued a political career. In recent years, she served as a Minister for Economic Affairs and as Foreign Minister.

The lively discussion centred around the European Union’s free trade agreements with African countries – the so-called Economic Partnership Agreements – and possibilities for direct intervention of German Development Cooperation in the African private sector. Ms. Tetteh works on improving the local framework conditions so that more medium-sized German companies can enter the Ghanaian market and form partnerships with local companies and institutions.

Our guest was very impressed by the africrops! approach and would now like to encourage entrepreneurs in Ghana to grow Moringa in high quality, to then enter into a long-term business relationship with africrops!.

 

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africrops! at the inauguration of the Tanzanian office of the German Chamber of Commerce

Dr. Gelase Rugaimukamu, africrops! Coordinator for East Africa explaining the africrops! approach to Dr. Wansleben, Managing Director of the DIHK.

Dr. Gelase Rugaimukamu, africrops! Coordinator for East Africa explaining the africrops! approach to Dr. Wansleben, Managing Director of the DIHK.

On April 16, the new office of the German Chamber of Commerce (AHK) was opened in Tanzania. The expansion of the chamber’s network on the African continent is an important signal to the German business community and aims to promote trade with Tanzania offering a wide range of services. The ceremony was attended by a number of stakeholders and dignitaries, including Tanzania’s Ministers for Industry, Trade and Investments, DIHK and GIZ management, representatives of the BMZ, the BMWi and German-African Business Association, the German Ambassador to Tanzania and others.

Our Managing Director Meinolf Kuper & Dr. Rugaimukamu illustrate our commitment in Tanzania with the help of a delicious smoothie to GIZ CEO, Dr. Tanja Goenner.

Our Managing Director Meinolf Kuper & Dr. Rugaimukamu illustrate our commitment in Tanzania with the help of a delicious smoothie to GIZ CEO, Dr. Tanja Goenner.

As a German company engaged in long-term trade relations with Tanzania, africrops! stands for the kind of business approach the AHK is seeking to promote. africrops! was therefore asked to provide healthy moringa and baobab smoothies during the event. The catering was part of a Public Private Partnership (PPP) project with the GIZ to promote employment and income for moringa and baobab farmers in Tanzania. africrops! currently exports the products to Germany and distributes them under the brand “The Essence of Africa”. The event gave africrops! the opportunity to not only showcase the finished consumer products already familiar to German consumers, but also to inspire the marketing efforts of local producers within the Tanzanian market.

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Successful Biofach trade fair participation

IMG_2196In February 2018, africrops! exhibited at the organic trade fair “Biofach” in Nuremberg. The Biofach is the word’s leading trade show for organic products, attracting around 3,200 exhibitors and over 50,000 visitors. The fair is a great opportunity for companies to present their products and new innovations to an audience of retailers, wholesalers and manufacturers.

africrops! used this opportunity to showcase their premium “The Essence of Africa” product line and unique business philosophy. In addition to established products, africrops! also introduced their new moringa and baobab tablets. These will shortly be available to customers from “The Essence of Africa”. Thanks to their convenient format, they not only attracted interest from visitors that came to the africrops! booth, but were also one of the highlights at this year’s novelty stand.

Our East Africa Director Dr. Gelase Rugaimukamu flew in from Tanzania to inform clients about our product range.

Our East Africa Director Dr. Gelase Rugaimukamu flew in from Tanzania to inform clients about our product range.

This year already marked the fifth time that africrops! exhibited at the Biofach. The fair serves as a platform to introduce africrops! products to potential customers, develop business partnerships and to meet new project partners. The visitor numbers at the africrops! booth clearly show that the demand for certified organic plant products from Africa is increasing and that the premium quality “The Essence of Africa” products are highly appreciated by clients.

Not only the quality of the products but also our philosophy of fair trade on eye level with our African partners is an important argument for many customers. More and more companies are realizing the importance of sustainable and fair sourcing practices and are increasingly relying on suppliers such as africrops!.

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Successful organic certification in Namibia

Just before harvest, dust is removed from the leaves

Just before harvest, dust is removed from the leaves

In November 2017, africrops! Managing Director, Dr. Andreas Wesselmann travelled to Namibia to accompany our Namibian partner Komeho during the organic certification of their moringa fields. The focus of the inspection was to verify compliance of important processes and to ensure ecological compatibility and a high product quality. All requirements were successfully fulfilled and organic certification was awarded.

Receiving organic certification is an important step for local producers that want to access international markets, such as the EU. The growing demand for certified organic products allows the producers to negotiate better prices and realize higher profits.

Workers preaparing the drying process of the moringa leaves

Workers preaparing the drying process of the moringa leaves

The cultivated areas are located in northern Namibia, where the local San community grows the moringa plants. The San are an indigenous community that has historically been largely excluded from the national economy. As a result, unemployment is relatively high. The cultivation of moringa now offers the community a good opportunity to earn a stable income in an ecologically sustainable manner. But not only the newly created jobs benefit the community: As part of the project, a vocational education system that is adapted to organic farming will be developed.

africrops! Managing Director, Dr. Heinrich Heinrichs will travel to Namibia later this year to help support the development of the curriculum together with the Namibia Training Authority (NTA). Successful implementation will help support training on the moringa farms, but also promote organic farming standards and practices beyond this.

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africrops! encourages young Africans to become entrepreneurs in the agricultural sector

Dr. Wesselmann discussing opportunities in Kenya's agrbusiness sector

Dr. Wesselmann discussing opportunities in Kenya’s agribusiness sector

In many African countries, especially among younger generations, employment in the agricultural sector is often considered undesirable. The prevalent perception is that running a farm holds little promise in terms of generating a successful and profitable business. africrops! wants to change this and is committed to promoting the agricultural sector as a reliable source of income and encourages young people to employ their entrepreneurial spirit in farming.

Towards the end of 2017, africrops!’ Managing Director, Dr. Andreas Wesselmann, travelled to East Africa to lecture at various entrepreneurship conferences and highlight the vast potential within the agricultural sector. In a talk on “Entrepreneurship in Agriculture” at the Jomo Kenyatta University of Agriculture and Technology in Kenya, Dr. Wesselmann demonstrated how the cultivation of high-quality agricultural products can be a profitable business. With a rising number of health-conscious individuals, in particular in North America and Europe, the demand for organically certified products is steadily growing.

Dr. Wesselmann during his lecture Jomo Kenyatta University of Agriculture and Technology

Dr. Wesselmann during his lecture Jomo Kenyatta University of Agriculture and Technology

At the Addis Ababa University in Ethiopia, Dr. Wesselmann participated in the “Global Entrepreneurship Day” which was attended by young entrepreneurs from all over the country. In large parts of Ethiopia, climatic and environmental conditions are well suited to agribusiness and offer great potential for young entrepreneurs. Not only in terms of the cultivation of high-quality agricultural products, but also the processing, transport and storage of these crops.

In the near future, africrops! plans to add Ethiopia and Kenya to the countries where it sources its products from and is seeking young, reliable and innovative partners to realize this.

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AFRICROPS! IS EXPANDING ITS PRODUCT RANGE BY OFFERING organic BAOBAB OIL FROM TANZANIA

Before the end of the year, africrops! is expanding its product range once again and now offers sustainably sourced baobab oil with a range of health benefits.

Sustainably produced baobab oil from Tanzania

Over the years, africrops! has established a local network of close and reliable partners in Tanzania Last month, our Managing Director, Meinolf Kuper, visited our local partners, advising them on the process of producing baobab oil.

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Producing baobab oil is quite work-intensive. After the harvest, the baobab fruits from certified organic wild growth are opened and the contents is separated into fruit powder and seeds. The seeds are then pressed into oil using the cold press method. To make 1 liter of oil, more than 20 kg of seeds are needed.

This year’s harvest of baobab took place in July and August with more than 100 families and small farmers in the rural areas of Dodoma collecting the fruits. As a result, these people were able to generate employment and to earn an additional income in an otherwise sparse environment.

Baobab skin protection oil – for beautiful and healthy skin

Baobab Öl, 100ml

Baobab oil, 100ml

The oil is known especially for its moisturising and anti-inflammatory properties. With a high content of essential fatty acids, baobab oil moisturises, regenerates the tissue and protects the skin from moisture loss. It cares for rough hands, cracked fingernails and makes dull hair silky and shiny again. Its calming effect promotes the healing process of skin diseases such as psoriasis, eczema, allergies or acne, as well as inflammations and sunburn.

When used as a massage oil, baobab oil is particularly invigorating and leaves a wonderful feeling of elasticity, freshness and smoothness on the skin. In addition, the oil has a high content of antioxidants and prevents the development of wrinkles and stretch marks.

The Essence of Africa offers baobab oil in attractive 100ml glass bottles in our online shop and well-stocked Alnatura stores.

Are you a retailer and would like to sell baobab oil in your store? Or would you like to process baobab oil further, creating your own products? Please click here for an individual offer.

Beratung

africrops! consulting supports the development of organic agriculture in Gambia

Following the change in political leadership in Gambia (West Africa) the new government under president Jammeh has made it its goal to develop its agricultural sector. Within this context organic farming and the training of “green” specialists has experienced a new boost.

Private sector actors have approached africrops! to professionally support and help realize these goals. The consulting efforts entail a wide range of activities, including support in the organic certification process, providing expertise regarding the cultivation of high-quality organic products and developing a concept for capacity building and training of experts.

Dr. Wesselmann taking soil samples.

To complete the complex process for the organic certification of plant-based raw materials according to EU-guidelines a feasibility study was carried out. As part of this study samples of the soil were taken and analyzed by a German laboratory. The findings were very positive, so that the implementation phase can now begin.

Vorlesung an der Uni

Dr. Wesselmann during his lecture at the University of Banjul.

Well-trained experts in the areas of agriculture, gardening, processing and environmental protection, as well as all other related fields complete the circle. In relation to this Dr. Andreas Wesselmann held a lecture on the topic of “Entrepreneurship in Agribusiness – opportunities and challenges of organic farming in Africa” at the University of Banjul.