Fruit and Vegetable Processing Quality and Diversification – A Learning Event

Enterprise Partners (EP) conducted an experience sharing and lessons learnt workshop for the conclusion of one of the Horticulture Intervention, “Quality Improvement and Diversification of Domestically Processed Fruits and Vegetables”. The event took place in Addis Ababa on 05 December 2019. Invited attendees included private processors (Petram, Theday and Sadura), consulting companies (LM Consultancy and MK Consultancy), industry experts, representatives from the Ministry of Agriculture (MoA), the Ethiopian Conformity Assessment Enterprise, the Ethiopian Food Beverages and Pharmaceuticals Industries Development Institute (EFBPIDI), Ethiopian Bottled Water and Soft Drink Manufacturing Industries Association (EBMSIA).

EP partnered with Local Fruit, a company based in the Netherlands to consult and strengthen the capacity of both local processors and technical service providers involved in the intervention. The consultants reflected on their findings and shared relevant learnings from trends in the international food market related to fruit and vegetable products. Some of the major findings included, adopting a business strategy that focused on operational excellence, enhancing coordination between processors, academic curriculum and research and systemising information flow within the industry.

The three processing companies also reflected on their experience and shared results

  • All three processors (Sadura, Petram and Theday) have upgraded their quality standards to meet export level. Based on their subsequent eligibility, they are pursuing ISO certification to be eligible to export to international markets.
  • Sadura Processing Company introduced a new mango product into the market after substituting imported pulp with local mango pulp. The processor has also developed a new juice recipe from passion fruit pulp. In 2021, they plan to scale-up their business by starting new products infused with Ethiopian spices and herbs.
  • Petram Processing Company commissioned a local consultant to carry out a countrywide business assessment on five selected fruits and vegetables. The assessment serves as an input for product diversification of its franchised brand and the potential of investing in pulp production.
  • Theday Processing Company has developed its own tomato ketchup recipe, secured bank loan for business expansion and is preparing to procure production machinery. 

As EP exits from the market, public and private actors will continue working together. Market linkages are bridged and stakeholders are incentivised to continue the work sustainably. This will result in processed products’ market competitiveness and thereby contribute to import substitution and support export market through the improvement of quality and diversification in the nation’s fruit and vegetable processing industry.