I am Joel Robert, a young agripreneur from Dar es Salaam, Tanzania. I am 25 years old with an irresistible passion and a burning desire for feeding the planet and eradicating poverty by creating more jobs opportunities through sustainable agriculture. I am a director of procurement and logistics at Zoeland International, www.zoeland.co.tz, a partnership venture which is at an early stage that dealing with agro-products supply, distribution and exportation.
So far, I have come to discover that local fresh producers stand the best chance of succeeding in European market if they focus on sustainable production, for instance by offering organic fresh products.
According to the trade statistics of 2013/2014 done by CBI market intelligence of the Netherlands, the statistics show that European countries import a wide range of fresh products from developing countries.
Over the last five years, European consumption of fresh fruits and vegetables especially organic ones has been stable and ever increasing in which countries like Netherland, United Kingdom and Belgium are major trade hubs for fresh produce from developing countries.
Healthy living and better taste
Health has always been a selling point for fresh fruits and vegetables. In coming years, the importance of communication on the health benefits of these products will increase, as will organic products. The demand for pure organic products is increasing, especially in North-Western Europe. Consumers associate organic fruits and vegetables with health and better taste.
Organic fruit and vegetable uses harmless inputs and using the production methods that restore and improve ecological balance produce.
The problem that calls for attention
Despite the higher demand for fresh products and business opportunities in Europe, selling fresh local produce to international markets has been the dream and quest of most local producers in Tanzania, yet very few make it in the international markets due to various reasons such as lack of clear insight into European market and unsustainable production.
My sustainable solution.
For local fresh organic fruits and vegetables producers to have a big stake in the European fresh organic market which is projected to reach about USD 62.97 billion by 2020. As a problem-solver, I am aiming to provide a creative and sustainable approach to the problem by enabling local fresh organic producers to succeed in European fresh organic market.
This is how it will be done,
- Setting up an organic fresh farm as a modal farm.
- Building an offline and online platform which will;
- Activate organic seeds producers, local fresh organic producers and European fresh organic importers/buyers.
- Establish a win-win long-term partnership with organic inputs producers, European organic importers/buyers and freight forwarders as well.
- Mobilize local fresh producers to get into fresh organic production for economical and environmental impacts.
- Provide European market data analysis like market requirements, market size by crop and by region, key players, distribution channels, competitive situation and trends, importer/buyer profiles and so much more about the European fresh market.
- Link local organic fresh producers with European fresh organic market.
- Enrolling local fresh producers into fresh organic production and fresh export coaching programs.
- Facilitating the exportation of the produce by air and sea transport.
- Providing premium packaging and labelling.
Impacts on my community
Economic prosperity and social development
Exporting fresh organic produce to Europe will result into more business breakthrough to local fresh producers especially rural ones, more jobs to young people who consist of 70% of the population in the country and more economic developments.
Sustainable organic production does not only contribute greatly to nation’s economy but also protects the planet and preserves the soil from pollution and wastage through the use of organic inputs like organic fertilizers and pesticides.
- Number of local fresh organic producers enrolled in export coaching programs.
- Number of local fresh producers mobilized to get into fresh organic production.
- Number of long-term partnerships established with European importers/buyers.
- Number of long-term partnerships established with fresh organic inputs producers.
- Number of tonnes for fresh organic produce exported to European market per year.
- Number of positive feedbacks received from our European customers.
- Number of orders and enquiries received from European and local customers as well.
The USD 5,000 seed funds will be invested as follows
- Setting up an organic farm (a model farm): USD 2,700
- Hiring an organic expert: USD 500
- Building an online platform: USD 500
- Packaging and labelling materials: USD 500
- Awareness and coaching programmes (offline platform): USD 800
Blogpost and picture submitted by Joel Robert (Tanzania): joel.robert[at]zoeland.co.tz
The content, structure and grammar are at the discretion of the author only.
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