EcoProDev contributes to projects selected for their high degree of social and ecologic innovation. Let’s go forward together!

Organic and fair trade avocado oil from Guinea

In the mountains in the region of Samaya, northeast of Conakry, the climatic conditions for avocado cultivation are ideal. Unfortunately, about half of the avocado crop is currently lost due to a lack of infrastructure to transport the ripe fruits to the local markets. As the demand for organic avocado oil for consumption and cosmetics is growing in Europe, the project’s objective is to locally process the avocados into oil in order to sell it in Europe.
To this end, an oil mill has been established and staff has been trained in processing the fruits. The avocados are grown by more than 200 small farmers in the region who were organically certified as part of this project. In addition, trainings on organic farming, optimizing cultivation, harvesting and logistics methods are offered to producers through local trainers. Furthermore, the marketing of the products in Europe is promoted. Through this project, farmers in remote areas have a market for their avocados and will be able to earn a long-term income.
EcoProDev assisted the project to be co-financed by the programme of the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ) via the German organisation sequa.

The Emile Noël oil mill is a pioneering French company in the field of organic oil and a specialist in the first cold pressing of oil seeds and fruits.

  • Installation of a local oil mill
  • Trainings for avocado farmers and factory workers
  • Organic certification of more than 150 farmers
  • Our contribution to the project: conception and funding
Avocado Guinea

Support for the production and processing of organic sheep wool in India

In the remote Himalaya region in northern India, one of the few income generation possibilities of the local people is sheep breeding. However, in this isolated region it is difficult to market agricultural products nationally or internationally. Due to a lack of knowledge and equipment, part of this raw wool is currently sold for little money through dealers to the carpet industry as it is neither cleaned nor sorted. Therefore, a significant proportion of wool that could be used as a high-quality product to produce textiles or bedding is sold far below its value.
The “Himalana” project’s major objective is to increase the quantity and quality of Indian sheep’s wool as well as its processed products. To this end, capacity development measures are to be carried out along the entire value chain: Trainings (e.g. on the shearing and sorting of wool) for local producers and workers in wool processing, who will pass on their knowledge to other producers in the future, will take place; the required equipment for cleaning and sorting the wool will be procured; a training school for carpet weaving (mainly for women) will be set up, and international marketing of the products will be promoted. One of the main focuses of the trainings is the empowerment of women so that they can earn an income in the future.
EcoProDev assisted the project to be co-financed by the programme of the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ) through the German development organisation sequa.

Prolana is one of the leading German manufacturers of natural bedding. It is very important for the company that the raw materials come from organically certified cultivation and that it is fair trade. Only natural materials such as natural rubber, coconut fibres, camel and yak hair, sheep’s wool and organic cotton are used.

  • Training on shearing, sorting and processing of organic wool
  • Establishment of a training centre for weavers
  • International market access and fair payment for producers
  • Our contribution to the project: conception and funding

Support for the cultivation of organic herbs in Morocco

The organic cultivation of medicinal and aromatic plants (MAPs) in the region of Agadir offers a high potential for economic development. Due to the favourable climate and the geographical location of Morocco, trade on the European market is promising. In addition, the proximity to Europe ensures reasonable transport costs. Nevertheless, Morocco is not able to supply the demand of European importers, as the products do not meet their quality standards. In fact, the various actors in the production chain of aromatic and medicinal plants often lack the knowledge and resources required for high-quality organic production: poor knowledge about organic farming, the lack of technical equipment and inadequate organisation in the marketing structure are the main reasons for it.
Based on this situation, this project has made it possible to carry out field trials, optimise production, introduce new products and organic farming methods on Beleco, the pilot farm. These methods have been disseminated to other producers in the region through field and peer trainings during the project and will continue to be taught in the future. Furthermore, the project enabled the implementation of a quality management system to ensure that the product is exported according to customer requirements. Thus, this project contributes to the development of organic farming in Morocco.

Beleco, which grows a wide range of fresh and dried herbs, is the main implementation partner for this project. The project was co-financed by the programme of the Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ), through the German organisation sequa.

  • 50 farmers and staff trained in organic farming
  • Market access for Moroccan producers
  • 50 internships for students
  • Introduction of a quality management system
  • Our contribution to the project: conception and funding
BelecoPPP-Team auf Biofach

Organic pineapple pure juice production and diversification of products in Togo

Togo is a high-quality pineapple producer country, but almost all the production is consumed fresh on the local market. Indeed, difficulties to access international market and price fluctuation hinder pineapple export. Moreover, yields are limited at the moment and may even decrease in the long run due to soil fertility loss and the effects of climate change.
The Togolese company Jus Delice, in partnership with Label d’Or, a pineapple producing company, several experts of juice value chains and the Moringa Partnership Fund, built a processing plant for organic pineapple fresh juice. About 30 people are working in the factory and were trained to international hygiene and quality standards. The pineapple juice is certified organic and fair trade. Throughout this project, Jus Délice is bringing Togolese pineapple producers on a more stable and rewarding international market than fresh pineapple.
Moreover, Jus Délice is supporting an environmentally friendly pineapple production. More than 150 smallholder farmers are trained to organic agriculture and agroforestry by Label d’Or, notably through demonstration farm plots. One aim is to maintain and even to improve yields while preserving the environment.
EcoProDev assisted the project to be co-financed by the programme from the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ) via sequa. In addition, EcoProDev is studying diversification opportunities for Jus Délice: availability of raw material in Togo and demand on international organic and/or fair trade markets are analyzed.

Jus Délice is a Togolese company that aims to process local fruit into premium juice (mainly organic pineaple juice) with the intention of exporting it to the EU.

  • 30 jobs created in the processing factory
  • 150 small farmers families associated in the supply chain
  • Trainings about organic agriculture and agroforestry, including demonstrations farm plots
  • Purchase price stability for smallholders
  • Our contribution to the project: conception, funding, market study
Picture Juice Factrory

Capacity-building in the processing value chain of organic dried fruits in Tanzania

Tanzania’s excellent climate condition is key to the cultivation of tropical fruits such as pineapples and bananas. However, farmers often lack the expertise when it comes to organic farming, both in terms of methods and skills on how to access the international fair trade market.

The project consists of skills transfer to small-scale farmers on the theme of organic farming as well as implementing technological improvements into a local processing plant. The implementation of modern solar power should allow small-scale farmers to produce on a sustainable basis, certified and high-quality food products. The positive outcome expected from the activities of the project is more reliable and secure incomes.

Kipepeo Bio & Fair carried out this project, with the support of E.L.D. EcoProDev has contributed to the project by providing co-funding through sequa from the programme, a programme financed by the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ).

E.L.D. is the company that supplies the well-known German wholesaler Rinklin Naturkost. Since 1955, Rinklin Naturkost stands out as a supplier for healthy food shops and in its personal approach, it has defined key values in which fair and transparent international trade is one of them.

Kipepeo Bio & Fair is a company that imports fresh and dried products from Africa, whose motto is “Bringing Change through Trade”. Kipepeo Bio & Fair worked as the local operator to implement the project

  • 200 farmers trained in organic farming methods
  • 40 additional small-scale farmers able to access the supply chain of organic farming
  • 25 workers whom capacities have been strengthened
  • Price stability for small producers
  • Our contribution: conceptualisation and support to funding

processing of organic and fair trade cashews in Burkina Faso

Most cashews in the world are collected in Africa but nearly all of them are exported as raw nuts to India where they are processed into kernels. This is unfortunate, as processing the nuts is very demanding in labour. Thus, it has an interesting development potential identified by gebana.

Until 2010, gebana sourced cashew kernels from producers’ cooperatives that also processed the nuts. After recurrent quality and supply difficulties, gebana decided to build its own factory in order to secure a minimum quantity of high-quality cashews in addition to the supply from partner cooperatives. Thanks to this factory, gebana has internalised the processing expertise and trains partner suppliers to the high-quality requirements. In the own factory, it was also a challenge to reach the high objectives of quality and productivity. Trainings of the factory staff represented an important part of the project and had to take into account that most of the employees had a low basic education. As cashew processing includes numerous stages (quality control, storage, cooking and cutting of raw nuts, drying, peeling, calibrating and packing the kernels), production control tools to monitor the batches had to be implemented. The efforts have been rewarded as the exportation of quality products enabled to double the capacity of the factory and the number of employees since the start of production in 2011.

Gebana is the Swiss fair trade pioneer and leading company. It supports farmers around the world in producing and exporting high quality organic products. Gebana gives technical assistance, pre-finances production and sales the products on international markets. Whenever it makes sense, products are processed locally so that it creates local jobs and maximises added value in developing countries.

  • 400 tons of raw cashews are yearly processed into 80 tons kernels
  • 1200 producers are organically certified and supply gebana with cashews
  • 200 jobs have been created in cashew processing
  • Our contribution: local project management, crowdfunding, market study

Local production of direct organic pineapple pure juice in Benin

Organic direct pineapple pure juice is currently a rare product on European markets. The firm Jus de Marmande had to buy organic pineapple juice from different suppliers from diverse countries.
In Benin, small farmers from RéPAB (Réseau des producteurs d’ananas du Bénin) produce organic certified pineapples since 2010 but could not sell them on organic markets.
In 2015, Jus de Marmande joined forces with these producers as well as with Fruits Tillou, a local producer of handcrafted juices and with a company experienced in processing in agro-food industry. Together they founded Jus Tillou, the first processing plant of organic direct pineapple pure juice in Benin.
This project aimed on the one hand at sharing the knowledge on industrial processing, quality management and classic economic management. On the other hand, the target was to set up a stable value chain based on organic pineapple juice: long-term contracts were signed, and producers were supported to improve their productivity so that they can make a living from their produce.

Jus de Marmande produces fruit juices since 1952 in Lot et Garonne (South of France) from local agricultural production. It belongs to the agricultural cooperative „Terres du Sud“ since 2010, which allows a close collaboration between production and processing steps. Jus de Marmande will now broaden to exotic products its skills in developing sustainable value chains.

  • 3 400 tons of organic pineapple processed in juice yearly
  • 100 farmers supported and trained to organic pineapple production
  • 40 jobs created in juice processing
  • Our contribution: conception, funding, marketing

Support to guarana producers in Amazonas, Brazil

RDV Products faces an increasing demand for organic products from the Amazonas in Brazil, notably for guarana, açaï, acerola and tonka beans (the fruit of cumaru trees). For sourcing, the company works with smallholder farmers from the Urucará region in the Amazonas state. Their organic guarana products are roasted in a traditional way that preserves all its qualities. Recently, those producers face technical challenges with pest invasions from an insect called thrips and with severe droughts. Thus, the existence of many small-scale farms is threatened.

In this first project, RDV Products supported the producers in solving their problems (e.g. with biological pest control methods, installation of irrigation systems, etc.) to increase the productivity of the organic Guarana plantations. Additionally, the project will support the farmers in diversifying their production. Cumaru trees have been planted on producers’ farms to produce tonka beans. An integrated pilot farm has been set up with fish farming combined to acaï and acerola production: the fishes are partly fed with overripe berries and the enriched water from the basins can be used to irrigate and fertilize the crops. Depending on the results of this pilot test, this association between fruit growing and fish farming will be replicated.

A second project by RDV Products in cooperation with the local cooperative Agrofrut is now building on the results already achieved: 150 additional farmers are being trained in organic farming methods and the local processing of the products into oils, dried fruit extracts and fruit pulp is being established. As a result, an important part of the value chain remains in the country and enables the generation of additional jobs. Furthermore, producers from other regions in the Amazon are organically certified and trained to increase the productivity of their guarana plantations. To increase the interest and understanding for such ecologically valuable projects in the country and to give career perspectives, students of the University in Manaus are invited and informed about the project. The global distribution of the products at fair prices enables the producers to secure their existence and to continue making a valuable contribution to the sustainable cultivation of the threatened Amazon region.

EcoProDev assists these projects in obtaining co-financing through the programme from the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ) via sequa.

RDV Products works with producers from Brazil to develop high added value products and imports these products to Europe. Long-term partnerships, scientific research and high prices paid to the producers make possible to conform to clients’ highest quality requirements.

  • Agricultural production is diversified with açai, acerola and tonka beans; guarana productivity increases, and the quality of the products is assured
  • Over 200 producers benefit from trainings and supply RDV Products with their produce
  • 20 jobs are created in guarana processing
  • Our contribution to the projects: conception and funding

Support to cocoa producers to increase productivity of their plantations from high quality variety "Nacional“ in Ecuador

Ecuador is the most important producer of high-quality cocoa in the world. This excellent cocoa comes from the variety Nacional (also called Arriba) grown only in Ecuador and characterised by extraordinary floral and fruity flavours. It is used for the production of very high-quality chocolate, also as an “improver” in the best-blended chocolates. During the last ten years, however, responding to decreasing yields in the aging trees, Nacional cocoa plantations have been massively removed and replaced by new hybrid production cocoa varieties, notably the CCN51. This variety is much less aromatic but is more productive and brings yields already two years after planting whereas the variety Nacional needs five to seven years. If nothing is done, National cocoa variety – and part of Ecuador’s national heritage – could disappear. Moreover, there is a big ecological issue related to this phenomenon of replacing cocoa Nacional by CCN51 as the latter is planted as a monoculture after deforesting the fields, whereas the cocoa Nacional is usually grown under the umbrage of big trees on fields with high biodiversity in a quite robust agronomic system. Kaoka needs this high-quality cocoa; that is why through this project they are supporting the peasant cocoa producers in their efforts to maintain their “Nacional” cocoa production.
After 10 years of field research, Kaoka has developed a method to renovate the aging plantation of cocoa Nacional. Old cocoa trees are grafted, and new seedlings are planted in the same plots. This method facilitates the increase of yields in the short and long term and maintains or even enhances the original quality of the cocoa.
EcoProDev assisted the project to be co-financed by the programme from the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ) via sequa.

Kaoka is a specialist in the production of high-quality chocolate. The company is engaged in long term relationships with almost 4.000 cocoa producing farmers in Africa and Latin America, accompanying the farmers during the whole chain of cocoa planting, harvesting and processing. Importing the raw material of its final products, Kaoka guarantees to cocoa producers a higher price than market price giving added value to their work.

  • 100 hectares cocoa from variety Nacional are renovated to increase productivity
  • 400 producers are trained to increase productivity in their cocoa fields
  • 10 workers from the cooperatives are trained to enhance quality of cocoa
  • Our contribution to the project: conception and funding
Cacao renovation on field Training