SGTF has been procesing and exporting mangos from small Burkinese farmers for FairFruit since 2012
In 2011, just before start of the mango growing
season, Durabilis acquired Société de Gestion de Terminaux Fruitiers (SGTF)
which holds the concession of a World Bank financed mango processing hall in
the Bobo-Dioulasso region. Its activities include the sourcing, processing and
export of high quality mangos from around 50 smallholders. The packing station
has a capacity to process over 15 containers of mangos per week.
Tumultuous times came to an end
SGTF’s financial results have been negative due to the combined effect of several factors. In 2012 and 2013 the unrest in Burkina Faso and war in Mali had a significant impact on logistics and therefore the volumes and quality of exported mangos. The exceptionally humid weather in 2013 reinforced the problems.
Third party processing services
When Durabilis acquired the concession on the packing hall, other Burkinese exporters were concerned that the World Bank had built it for all actors and that they would lose access to these facilities. In response to these concerns, SGTF in 2013 delivered processing services to other exporters in the region, providing a genuine win-win solution. The company has more capacity than what its trained and certified farmer base can produce for and the processing services represent low-risk extra income.
Building on these lessons learned, a recovery plan was established in 2013 for 2014 and beyond in collaboration with Durabilis Consulting.
Progressive focus on service delivery
According to the recovery plan, 2014 service delivery will mount to 78 containers while own exported volumes are limited to 15 containers. In future years FairFruit sourcing and exporting activities might even be transferred to a new company with SGTF delivering only packaging services. The final set-up will be defined in deliberation with the Burkinese mango export sector, the World Bank and SGTF’s co-shareholder the Chamber of Commerce.
Improving cold chain
An inadequate cold chain is the largest threat to product quality and export revenues. Two factors will be addressed: an overhaul of the pre-cooling system and a review of the logistical process. The latter will be part of a West Africa wide FairFruit mango sourcing project, with a first trial in 2014.
Farmer support funding
receive assistance to ensure productivity, quality and compliance with market
requirements (GLOBALG.A.P. and BSCI). During the past years, Durabilis has
financed this farmer support with operational losses. Experience in Guatemala
however has shown that donors are willing to financially support these
technical assistance programmes. The agronomy team is establishing a farmer
support plan and budget to be presented to potential donors.