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!.

Moringa Namibia2

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.

AW Kenia2

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.



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.


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.


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.


africrops! supports the international research Project „BAOFOOD“

logo-baofoodprojectThe “BAOFOOD“ project funded by the German federal Ministry of Food, Agriculture and Consumer Protection, is investigating the application possibilities of the Baobab tree, with the aim of improving the food supply in Africa. In fact, a research network of public and private actors was created, which is coordinated by the University of Rhein-Waal. africrops! is helping herby to build of a local economy and in the scientific field. 



(from left): Meinolf Kuper, Mrs Professor Kehlenbeck, Dr Andreas Wesselmann in the Geenhouse of the University

The extensive and already well-established producer network of africrops! provides a promising approach to building local structures for the marketing of baobab foods. Building on this, africrops! aims to build up a global sales network for Baobab food to bring foreign trade to the forefront and on equal footing. Due to the long experience of africrops! with the raw material Baobab, scientific partners are also supported in the formulation of research questions.

The BAOFOOD project includes comprehensive research activities on the benefits of the Baobab tree as a food product and the optimal handling along the entire value chain, with particular emphasis on sustainability. This includes exploration of the biology and ecology of the baobab tree and the geographical coverage of trees using digital technology. Furthermore, extensive research on the production and optimization of food using traditional and modern methods, local marketing, measuring the contribution of baobab products to nutrition – and income situation of the population, as well as market analyzes in Kenya and Sudan is performed.

logo uni rhein-waalThe project manager responsible for the Rhein-Waal University of Applied Sciences, Professor Darr and other university colleagues met with Meinolf Kuper and Dr. Andreas Wesselmann, two of the three managing directors of africrops!. All the details of the cooperation were discussed during this meeting. The entire network of partners consists of various research institutions, NGOs as well as companies from Germany, Kenya, Sudan, Malawi and UK.

In addition, both africrops! representatives gave the students the opportunity to learn more about “Entrepreneurship in Agribusiness – opportunities and challenges in Africa – the example of africrops! GmbH “. The lecture was very well attended and was followed by international students and curious observers with keen interest.


Dr Andreas Wesselmann as guest lecturer on “Entrepreneurship in Agribusiness”


More about the project Baofood:


Press articles„africrops! @ Rhein Waal“:


africrops! Moringa smoothies at the “International Green Week” in Berlin

from left to right: Dr Christoph Beier (Deputy Chaiman of GIZ), Dr Gerhard Müller (Federal Minister BMZ), Dr Heinrich Heinrichs

During the “Green Week” in Berlin, africrops! GmbH is cooperating with the GIZ in the hall of the Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ).

Dr Heinrich Heinrichs at the interview about the importance of Moringa in the countries of origin and in Europe

africrops! offers interested visitors a fresh Moringa smoothie and informs about the importance of Moringa which corresponds to the initiative of the BMZ “A world without hunger”. On the opening day, Federal Minister Müller visited the hall and strongly informed himself about Moringa while he was enjoying a smoothie.

Dr Heinrich Heinrichs (Managing Director of africrops!) has been interviewed several times about Moringa and its importance for nutrition, as well as the creation of work and as additional source of income for African small farmers and their families.


Successful organic certification according to EU guidelines for partners in Tanzania

aw_bio_inspection_webA main concern of africrops! is the continuous quality assurance. On this occasion, Dr. Andreas B. W. Wesselmann (Managing Director) personally traveled to Africa to carefully examine three companies in Tanzania. The inspector of the organic certification company Kiwa BCS was also part of the certification process under Article 29 (1) No. 834/2007.

In Tanzania, scenic landscapes on which Moringa is cultivated were assessed and classified by Dr. Wesselmann as very high quality. “We can be very fortunate that Moringa is cultivated here on virgin soil. The results are impressive”, says Dr. Wesselmann. In addition, the focus was on a large and sparsely populated area of Baobab trees, from which an excellent wild collection of fruits emerged. In short, all plant raw materials were certified in a record time of only 3 months.

All three farms successfully mastered the certification process and are now allowed to export to Europe with an official organic-certificate and organic-label. africrops! will buy directly from all three companies without any intermediaries and market these high quality products in Germany and Europe. From the perspective of africrops! organic certification offers many opportunities for exporting to Europe at more fair and higher prices.

Quality Assurance

A Visit to our cooperation partner in Tanzania

Quality managementblogquality

Our Managing Director Meinolf Kuper has just returned from his trip to Tanzania in East Africa where he met with our producers. Some of the activities on the schedule included to build a supply chain for certified organic products, provide quality assurance and advise on organic farming. This was mainly regarding the production of Baobab powder from the Dodoma region in the country’s interior and the expansion of the production of Moringa leaf powder and Moringa oil. In the port town of Dar es Salaam, where africrops! supports a pilot farm, Meinolf Kuper was able to convince himself of the successfully installed systems implemented there to dry the Moringa leaves. “It is really fun to work with our partners here in Africa. Through our close contacts and on-site visits, our suppliers now produce very high-quality products, which enables them to gain access to the export market and improve their living standards. ”


WebOur partner AfriCraft

In addition to the field of plant-based raw materials, the AfriCraft cooperation partner was advised. AfriCraft is a leading recycler of waste products such as paper, metal cans, glass bottles and flour bags. From these waste materials innovative products are produced such as bags, tea lights and greeting cards. africrops! will soon add these products as an additional component to their product range.



Recycling and sustainability in school projects

This is an important contribution to raise awareness among children and teachers on waste and the consequences of littering cities, possibilities of waste prevention, collection management and the recycling of waste products. At the same time, children are given a better picture of what it means to be sustainable. The AfriCraft staff will start this teaching unit in the near future with the first two schools of a total of 800 pupils, to show children how they can learn to prevent waste. This completes the circle perfectly with africrops!, whom with the production and marketing of fruits and leaves of Baobab and Moringa provide a good example of sustainable management.


Moringa in emergency aid on Haiti

Haiti fights consequences of disasters with moringa

Moringa-Anbau-HaitiMalnutrition, soil erosion, unemployment and poverty. The list of problems in Haiti is long. According to the UN World Food Programme (UN WFP), Haiti is considered as the poorest country in the Western Hemisphere. 75% of the population lives on less than $ 2 a day, 50% on less than $ 1 a day. Although 60% of all Haitians work in agriculture, Haiti is importing half of all food products. Due to recent disasters such as the 2010 earthquake and the hurricane 2012, the situation worsened. In addition to other international and national organisations, such as the UN WFP and the US Agency for International Development (USAID), also the German government is involved in relief efforts.


Haiti used moringa for reconstruction

Moringa is known for its abundance of nutrients. It contains all the essential amino acids, almost all of the vitamins, including particularly vitamin C and A, as well as minerals. It also includes iron, calcium and magnesium. Haiti’s government has developed a national moringa policy and is promoting the use of moringa as a crop. German experts help and africrops! is involved. This is why, Meinolf visited Haiti in the summer 2012 as a development expert.

Moringa Reforestation Haiti

The engagement was part of the emergency relief operation of the German government after the earthquake in Haiti. In addition to the ad hoc relief work that was being done by the Federal Government, the aim was to establish sustainable relief structures, making the country less vulnerable to the effects of natural disasters in the long-run. In particular, the rapid availability of locally produced food, was the focus of this policy, in order to reduce the dependence on imports and aid shipments. Moringa is growing very fast, is undemanding and within a short time can already be harvested after sowing.  It therefore represents an ideal crop in the context of emergency relief programs.

Apart from the use of moringa as a nutrient, it can also contribute to improving health of the population through regular intake. The positive health benefits are manifold. The leaves have a particularly high content of in iron, vitamin C and Vitamin A, and thus help to combat the worst symptoms of qualitative malnutrition. Importantly, also the seeds are antibacterial and can even be used as water purifiers.

Furthermore, the cultivation of moringa enables the people to increase their average income.


Emergency measures with moringa in Haiti

  • Advice of small farmers in their villages for the cultivation and processing of moringa

Moringa Workshop Haiti

  • Planting of moringa for anti-erosion measures on the mountain slopes (Haiti only has a remainder of 2% of forest areas)
  • Construction of a system for income generation of the local population by the cultivation of moringa
  • Use of Moringa in school canteens and health facilities (Haiti has adopted a national moringa-strategy, which provides for the increased cultivation and utilisation of Moringa in these institutions)
  • Expansion of the local NGO BATAKOA in Gonaives as a cooperative of villages. The NGO is active in training, processing and distribution of moringa
  • Installation of a processing unit (mill and oil press) at BATAKOA
  • Build-up of a distribution system for the local market

The use of moringa is an important step in the enhancement of development cooperation and emergency aid. However, the biggest challenges that remain are the cultivation, the processing and the market access and distribution of moringa. The successful application in scenarios such as this one, show however that moringa has many different benefits and is rightly called “miracle tree”.

Reference: UN WFP