image name

BaraJii

Country name

BaraJii offers low-price qualitative, healthy and affordable beverages to over 1.000 small shops and over 50 wholesales in West Africa

  • Highest quality beverages in the pouches market
  • Continuous diversification with a progressive focus on healthy local products
  • Socially responsible employment and economic activity in one of the poorest countries in the world

  • Have a look at Barajii's commercial website here


image name

Name Family Name, Function

Key Figures

  • 110 M drinks:
  • 6,3 M: Sales
  • 1,4M: Workers FTE
  • : Smallholders
  • 606:   
  • XX : Workers headcount

Workers

  • 2011 : 210 53
  • 2012 : 235 53
  • 2013 : 268 63
  • 400
  • 350
  • 300
  • 250
  • 200
  • 150
  • 100
  • 50
  • 0
  • 60
  • 40
  • 20
  • 0
Number
Lowest salary
(€/month)
Year
  • Number of workers
  • Lowest salary in the company

BARAJII IN A NUTSHELL


Product range

Pure and natural water

The high degree of infectious diseases in Burkina Faso is for a large part caused by food or waterborne pathogens. Barajii offers pure and natural water in small and large pouches and PET for street, home and high-end consumption.

Flavoured water

Flavoured water thirst quenching drinks include Energy and Apple, and since 2014 also Citrus in pouches, with natural sweetener stevia replacing 20% of sugar.

Juices and teas

Juices and teas based on locally sourced raw materials are Bissap, Tamarind, Mango and Ginger in pouches and PET. In juices and teas 30% of the sugar content is replaced by stevia.

image name

Name Family Name, Function

image name

Name Family Name, Function

Impact

Employment generation 

Barajii creates direct and indirect employment in Burkina Faso, where formal employment is scarce

 
Striving to become an examplary employer meeting national and international standards for social responsibility

Income/productivity growth

Over 1000 small-scale boutiques account for more than 50% of the sales, the remaining sales passing through about 50 larger local distributors

 
Maintaining close relationships with distributors and retailers and providing assistance with stock management and sales, the company contributes to many base of pyramid livelihoods

 
Orienting towards beverages from locally sourced raw materials, representing a growing market for smallholder producers. In 2013 all natural raw materials were sourced in the local market.

Food Security

Stimulating the local economy with highly popular low-cost healthy beverages



image name

Name Family Name, Function

Main markets

Burkina Faso

(Ouagadougou & Bobo-Dioulasso)


Export to:
  • Togo
  • Ivory Coast
  • Mali
  • Ghana
  • Niger
Main challenges
  •  Growing competition and complex legislation in water pouches sector
  •  Fast extension of product portfolio with large opportunities in healthy beverages
  •  Geographic expansion
  •  Introduction PET products

image name

Name Family Name, Function

CHALLENGES AND OPPORTUNITIES


Consumers
  • Demand for low cost/high quality beverages exceeds production capacity
  • Young population and rising middle class. Interest for juices and infusions is growing. Stevia is highly appreciated as a replacement of sugar
  • New market opportunities in restaurants, households etc.


image name

Name Family Name, Function

Customers
  • Customers are tapping into neighbouring countries opening the door for Barajii to enter new markets in Mali, Niger, Ivory Coast, Ghana and Tog
  • Customers prefer Barajii to competitors since consumer preference
    is considerable. 

Competitors
  • Competition from copycat low-cost low-quality mineral producers pouches is extending to flavoured water as well       
  • Vague tax regulations create an unlevelled playing field              
Workers

With employment in Burkina Faso scarce, the establishment of formal employment means a lot to the community

Despite strict, French inspired labour law, the country’s employment traditions are not entirely in line with national or international legislation


Smallholders
  • New products based on locally sourced agricultural outputs could mean an additional source of income for smallholders
Environment
  • Changing laws on oxo-biodegradable plastic
  • Favourable tax climate for investment in renewable energy
Community
  • Strong lobby groups
  • The formal private sector is still small. The inclusion of suppliers and distributors can make an important contribution to development through value creation and the contribution to taxes.
image name

Name Family Name, Function

Investors
  • Durabilis’ resources for investment are limited, as a result Barajii is largely relying on own funds for future growth

STRATEGY

In order to realise its vision to “offer refreshing, affordable and high quality drinks for all”, Barajii wants to

  • build on its know-how as a (flavoured) water producer and distributor
  • offer an adapted product range to different market segments
  • privilege the use and transformation of locally sourced natural products

Barajii aims to realise this vision based on 2 tactical pillars:

  • continued investment in R&D
  • producing closer to the market in small ‘satellite’ production sites 

Outlook for 2014

Freeing up resources for consolidation and prepare-for-growth efforts:


  • Installing a compact PET bottling line 
  • Investment in a 35 kWp solar panel system
  • Preparing the management team for a new expansion phase


Outlook beyond 2014

From 2015, Barajii is targeting major further growth:


  • Stepwise geographical expansion, testing new markets with a compact, mobile container-sized factory and lower value products producing close to the market
  • Extending the product portfolio with a strong emphasis on locally sourced healthy products and the use of stevia as natural sweetener

DEVELOPMENT IN 2013


Increasing production capacity and adding new products to the portfolio

In the beginning of 2013, an additional investment permitted a 20% increase in capacity, including a major investment in pasteurization capacity for juices and flavoured water. Additional flavours were added to the product range, such as the flavoured Citrus drink and the very popular natural tamarind juice.


Regaining market share in pure water

Professional marketing and distribution efforts have resulted in a resurgence of pure water market share in a market largely dominated by informal players. Consumers are coming back to the Barajii quality brand, despite its higher price.

ContenO container-sized PET bottling line

More value-added products of local origin require more advanced packaging and conservation technology. Additional investments in a PET bottling line and advanced pasteurisation equipment were prepared in collaboration with ContenO, a Belgian supplier of compact container bottling lines. (The line will be installed during the second half of 2014). The investment is financed by a local bank loan.

Oxo-biodegradable plastics

With several years’ experience in oxo-biodegradable plastics, Barajii advised the Ministry of the Environment on the new law on oxo-biodegradable plastics and its application in Burkina Faso.


Water taxation file

Outdated legislation in the beverage sector obliged Barajii to start a long and intensive communication campaign with local authorities in order to reform the high taxation practices on water in Burkina Faso, despite the existence of UEMOA directives exonerating water in Sahel regions from revenue taxes.

Health care at the factory

A collaboration was started with a local NGO PaamLaafi (https://www.facebook.com/PaamLaafi), headed by a Belgian doctor, in order to provide affordable health services to all SBFA employees. An infirmary was installed in the factory and a doctor is present on a daily basis. The NGO is using the resulting revenues for the construction and operation of a new hospital in Ouagadougou, offering affordable health services to the base of the pyramid.


image name

Name Family Name, Function

CHALLENGES FOR 2014 AND BEYOND


Roll-out of PET gamma

While Barajii is still investing in production capacity, growing competition in the pure and flavoured water segment has triggered other diversification initiatives to be rolled-out gradually in the years to come. After installation of the new PET line, products that will add to the current portfolio are PET-bottled bissap, tamarind and mango juice, as well as 1l pure water bottles.

Investment in solar energy system

The new lines and pasteurizer are energy intensive. Since Ouagadougou suffers from electricity supply interruptions, and in order to bring carbon emissions down, a pilot 35 kWp solar panel system will be installed on the roof of SBFA with the possibility of gradually expanding to 200 kWp (a typical domestic system is between 1.5 and 3kWp).

Expanding the management team

The planned extension of the product range and the increased complexity of the business call for a considerable expansion of the management team. This will be realised by the recruitment of several new key management positions.

Refinancing long term debt

The imminent reimbursement of the long-term debt and the fact that short term debt arrangements are mismatched to the seasonal nature of the business could jeopardise operational efficiency and mid-term investments. Refinancing the current long term debt will make it possible to move ahead with mid-term investments, diversification projects and a more flexible working capital financing solution.


Designing a mobile pouches line for lower value products

By analogy with the container-based PET bottling line which stays in Ouagadougou for higher value products, the design of a mobile compact packing line for lower value products will permit affordable market tests in different locations, before investing in fixed assets or partnerships and establishing new production hubs.

Defining the geographicalexpansion strategy

Barajii sachets, mainly sold in Ouagadougou and Bobo-Dioulasso, are popping up in countries such as Mali, Niger, Ghana and Ivory Coast, indicating a strong international consumer interest to be exploited before competitors enter the arena. For lower value products a close-to-market production strategy will be used. Higher value products will be produced in Ouagadougou where more stringent quality assurance and control standards apply. Geographical expansion will take place stepwise, testing new markets with a compact, mobile container-sized factory and further developing successful markets through local partners or own satellite factories.

Communication to community

With Barajii becoming a national icon, proactive interaction with community stakeholders becomes more important. The management team is relying on its extensive network within the country to increase efforts in that direction.

COMMITMENT TRACKER

  • Work in Progress
  • Reconsidered
  • New
  • Achieved
Commitment
Due Date
Status
Comment
New Due Date
Investors
Commitment
Due Date
Status
Comment
New Due Date

Improve transparency on impact data regarding the commitments below

2013
Work in progress
Data management has progressed a lot in collaboration with Durabilis Consulting in 2014. As from 2015 the management should be ready for sustainability reporting.
2015

Integrate sustainability KPIs in the management objectives

0
New

In 2015 quantitative sustainability reporting will be possible at reasonable costs. Emphasis will be put on the reporting regarding the commitments below.

2015

Ensure 100% compliance with the worker aspects of Durabilis' Social Responsibility Charter

0
New

A gap analysis has been performed. The recommendations regarding workers were integrated in the management objectives.

2015
Workers
Commitment
Due Date
Status
Comment
New Due Date

Reduce the proportion of temporary workers by 5% each year.

0
New

A reduction had been achieved during several years, however in 2013 and 2014 efforts were put on hold. Improved reporting on employment status and inclusion of daily workers is again on the agenda for 2015.

2015

Enforce control
and training on health and safety measures.

2012
Achieved

The quality manager now oversees Health, Safety and Environment and safeguards health and safety procedures and training. In 2013, an internal pharmacy and free doctor consultation were introduced as a service to employees.

Establish a health and safety committee.

2012
Work in progress

The establishment of a health and safety committee has been integrated in the management objectives for 2015. It will contribute more to the improvement of the HSE system.

2015

Control overtime hours and limit them to the legal maximum.

0
New

Performed overtime hours are generally limited thanks to a shift system, but will be quantified as from 2015 in order to determine next steps.

2015

Introduce a worker grievance system.

0
New

Installing grievance procedures will allow workers to express their concerns and the company to address them.

2015

Gradually bring the lowest salary from legal minimum (around 30 000 FCFA) to basic needs wage (around 52 000 FCFA)

0
New

The HR manager will present an analysis and action plan by the end of 2014.

2014
Environment
Commitment
Due Date
Status
Comment
New Due Date

Find a solution for effluents and solid waste in the Ouagadougou factory.

2012
Work in progress

A specialist study was ordered in 2013, and delivered beginning of 2014. An in house water treatment facility will be installed during 2015.

2015

Roll-out the 35kWp solar project in order to increase the proportion of renewable energy.

0
New

The plans for the solar project are ready for implementation in 2014.

2014

Find a solution for large fossil fuel consumption for product transport.

2013
Work in progress

In the light of expansion to new markets, the BaratenO concept was developed in 2014. It will be applied for the first time in 2015. A new truck fleet will decrease fossil fuel consumption. A GPS tracking system will increase efficiency by means of well-planned routes.

2015
Customers
Commitment
Due Date
Status
Comment
New Due Date

Gaining more insight in customer profiles by introducing a customer follow-up system

0
New

Today small distributors are not followed individually. However in order to improve understanding of their needs, a closer follow-up will be introduced.

2015
Suppliers
Commitment
Due Date
Status
Comment
New Due Date

Develop inclusive value chains for sourcing agricultural products

2012
Achieved
Although a lot of effort has been put in finding local suppliers, no providers of good quality plastics have been found yet. A local supplier is however supplying oxo-biodegradable masterbags since 2013, completely eliminating the use of non-oxo-biodegradable plastic since 2014.
Consumers
Commitment
Due Date
Status
Comment
New Due Date

Introduce more nutritious products on the market.

0
Achieved

A new line of juices has been introduced in 2014. More will follow in the coming years.

Find healthier alternative for sugar.

0
Achieved

Stevia now replaces 30% of sugar in juices and 20% in flavoured water.

Introduce a consumer hot line.

0
New

The hot line will allow formally addressing customer complaints.

2015