Locations: Ouagadougou and Bobo Dioulasso, Burkina Faso
Cooperation since: 2000
Number of employees: 400
Number of farmers: 1200
Products: dried mangoes and cashew apples, cashew nuts, hibiscus
Certifications: Bio, FLO
Wanted: dried mangoes
Chocolate-bars were the reason for the engagement of gebana in Burkina Faso: looking for dry fruit as ingredient for the bars gebana contacted cooperatives in Burkina Faso for the first time in 2000. Due to the high demand for dried organic and fair trade mangoes in Europe, the commitment was strengthened and in 2006 gebana Afrique was founded.
At first, gebana purchased the dried fruit of farmer groups and was only responsible for control and packaging. Due to repeated quality shortcomings however, the investment in own facilities was increased in order to dry fresh mangoes.
Additional value through processing
Already at the foundation of gebana Afrique there was the idea to complement the seasonal dry mango production through the year-round processing of cashew nuts. Back then, the Burkinabe cashews were exported to India and processed there which withdrew the additional value of the end product from the country. To finance a local cashew production the Mango Campaign was launched: dried mangoes were sold at an extra charge and the collected money was invested in the first cashew processing plant.
With the mangoes as well as cashew nuts, gebana Afrique combines the production of local cooperatives with its own processing. The gebana facilities guarantee on one hand a minimum amount of high quality goods, on the other hand they serve as pilot units and for trainings. Through this, the quality of the products in the region and thus their marketability generally should be increased.
Investments in one of the poorest countries
Today, more than thousand farming families produce organic nuts and fruit with gebana Afrique. For the producers, the bonuses for organic cultivation, pre-financing and purchase guarantees as well as avoiding the intermediary trade are essential additional benefits because Burkina Faso is one of the poorest countries in the world.
Further local investments should contribute to the continuous improvement of the quality. On one hand, new ways to efficiently fight pest inflation by a CO2 treatment have been found. In the hot and wet summers of Burkina Faso inflation is again and again a problem. On the other hand, gebana Afrique is currently testing new drying technologies in order to dry the fruits more carefully.