Global Forum participants get a “taste” of innovation
Earlier this year, Pedro and Randa were able to share their success stories and their high quality products to over 800 people in the 5th Global Forum on Innovation and Entrepreneurship held in South Africa. The African Snack Bar was a hit to enthusiastic attendees. There was a clear appreciation and demand for innovative processed food products.
Below are some captured moments from the Forum’s attendees:
"What is cashew apple? This cashew apple butter is to die for. Where can I get it?"
"Where is the man that makes the best piri piri sauce I have ever tasted in my life? I want to sell it in South Africa, people will love it!"
"I did not know you could dry pineapple and have it as a snack just like dried apricots. This is delicious! Can I take some back home?"
"I did not know honey could have so many different tastes. They’re nicely labeled in small jars. It's like breakfast in a luxury hotel every morning!"
Mozambique-base brand, Gutsamba, and Senegalese producer, Zena Exotic Products, are prime examples of socially relevant and profitable businesses. While they continue to seize market opportunities, they provide important services to their local communities.
Pedro Tomo, Agro Servicos Founder and CEO, believes in a market-driven approach and the value of being socially relevant. By producing world-class fruit-based products, the company creates jobs. "By creating value around indigenous fruits that used to be neglected, we provide a sustainable source of income for over 60 farmers," says Pedro.
Pedro Tomo, Founder & CEO Agro Servicos Gutsamba
Despite Mozambique’s extensive natural resources, very few processed fruit-based products sold in the Mozambican retail network are labeled as “made in Mozambique”. Practically none of them are 100% natural fruit-based products. Agro Servicos, with its brand Gutsamba, attempts to address this unmet need by improving both the quantity and quality of locally sourced fruit-based products available in the market.
The company differentiates itself from its competitors by using fresh, 100% natural ingredients to create unique recipes that take in consideration Mozambican tastes and culture. It has also invested in better-engineered and packaged products that have reduced costs.
Women represent 95% of Zena's employees.
Zena Exotic Fruits became the first Senegalese jam producer to export “niche” products, such as cashew apple butter and baobab jam, to markets in the United States, Europe, and Japan.
When the company was producing a range of quality of fruit spreads for the local market, they learned that rural farmers produced cashews for export but did nothing with the fruit these trees produced. The company seized the opportunity and worked with a team of food technologists, marketers and chefs to develop a value-added product with a commodity that had no commercial value. Today, Zena exports its all-natural cashew apple butter to satisfied consumers around the world.
Randa Filfili, Owner & Manager Zena Exotic Fruits
Zena is owned and managed by Randa Filfili. Beyond expanding the business to produce more high quality products, Zena applies its weight to impact its community positively. “We strongly support job creation and women empowerment. Women represent 95% of our growing staff. In addition, our company creates jobs for the disadvantaged by employing hearing-impaired mute people", she adds.
InfoDev’s Agribusiness Innovation Program (AIP) takes a unique approach to catalyze inclusive growth by accelerating the development of pioneering agro-processing entrepreneurs like Pedro and Randa. With the help of donors and partners, infoDev aims to set up Agribusiness Innovation Centers (AIC) that will support agro-processing enterprises increase their competitiveness and growth.
See the Agribusiness Brochure to learn more.
For more information on these enterprises visit:
Zena Exotic Fruits: http://www.zenaexoticfruits.com/