The EU invests USD 1.5m in East Africa Fruits through EDFI AgriFI in an effort to reduce Tanzania’s food waste
EDFI AgriFI, the Agriculture Financing Initiative, funded by the European Union (EU), will be investing USD 1.5m (EUR 1.3million) in an agri-SME in Tanzania: East Africa Fruits.
- East Africa Fruits (EAF) uses tech-enabled solutions to provide access to market to 4000+ smallholder farmers by aggregating demand of fresh produce and grains and delivering it directly to thousands of informal retailers, local vendors, supermarkets restaurants and cafés, and hotels. It also provides training to farmers and a premium for their products.
- With AgriFI’s loan, EAF will be able to increase its activities and, therefore, the number of farmers reached (10.000 by 2025) and further reduce the post-harvest losses.
EDFI AgriFI invested USD 1.5 million in East Africa Fruits (EAF), a distributor of fresh fruits, vegetables & grains, from rural farmers towards urban customers.
Created in 2013, East Africa Fruits is tackling post-harvest losses by cutting out the multiple intermediaries between farms and cities with the use of technology and cold-chain infrastructures. Unlike other suppliers in the sector, EAF purchases products directly from a network of 4,000+ smallholders that they pay direclty. It then sorts, grades and packages the food before distributing it directly to urban retailers and businesses. By going from farm to central marketplaces, EAF shortens the food supply chain and contributes to reducing food waste along the chain, associated with each additional intermediary. In addition, the company provides a series of services to smallholder farmers such as trainings dedicated to improve their yield and harvests’ quality. EDFI AgriFI financing will be allocated to scale up operations and invest in additional trucks, collection centres and machinery.
According to UNEP, post-harvest food losses in sub-Saharan Africa are estimated to be worth USD 4 billion per year – or enough to feed at least 48 million people. Given the increasing demand for such services and a large untapped market ahead, EAF aims to serve 10,000 farmers by 2025 and play a leading role in Africa to reduce food waste and poverty.
“EAF has built a solid business model and we are very proud to support them to expand. Not only does the company improve farmers’ livelihood, but also provides significant convenience to urban customers by delivering quality products at their front door, cutting food waste along the way,” explained Robin Boereboom, AgriFI Investment Officer at EDFI Management Company.
EAF complies with the 2X Challenge criteria – the global industry standard for gender-lens investing – as it contributes to providing women in developing countries with access to leadership opportunities, quality forms of employment, finance, enterprise support, as well as products and services that enhance the inclusion or economic participation of women and girls.
“We are excited for this Investment from EDFI AgriFI, which is well aligned with our mission of improving Africa’s market access for farmers by modernizing the supply chain and demand logistics. Our expansion will enable us to strengthen our market lead position” concluded Elia Timotheo, CEO of East Africa Fruits.
“With this investment we want to promote the development of agri-SMEs that have a positive impact on smallholder farmers, as well as on food & nutrition security and the environment. It is also a way for us to show other investors that it is possible to support the agricultural sector through sustainable investments, in order to attract further financing,” explained Cristina Vicente Ruiz, AgriFI Programme Manager at the European Commission (DG INTPA).
About EDFI AgriFI
EDFI AgriFI, the EU Agriculture Financing Initiative, is an impact investment facility funded by the European Union, with a mandate to unlock, accelerate and leverage investments with a value chain approach in developing countries, focusing on smallholder’s inclusiveness and/or agri-business medium, small and micro enterprises (MSME).
AgriFI is managed by EDFI Management Company on behalf of the 15 European Development Finance Institutions (DFI).
About East Africa Fruits
East Africa Fruits is a tech enabled, food distribution company that aggregates directly from farmers, processes and distributes it to wide range of urban customers, mostly informal retailers. The company leverages in its network of more than 4,000 farmers to aggregate food and distribute to more than 2,000 businesses daily. The company envisions, to become Africa’s largest food distributor by eliminating food waste with efficient food distribution systems while ensuring that farmers have a stable and growing source of income. Learn more at www.eafruits.com or follow us on Instagram @eafruits.