James Weru - Fair Trade Enterprises Ltd
James Weru is a TruTrade franchisee and Managing Director of Fair Trade Enterprises Ltd (FTE), which was set up in 2013. He is based in Nairobi.
Fair Trade Enterprises
FTE is a registered agri-based social enterprise in Kenya. The company focuses on value chains for vegetables, fruits and milk. FTE is licensed to export French beans, snowpeas, sugar snaps, garden peas and avocados and is also a license holder for milk sales with the Kenyan Dairy Board.
FTE practices fair trade principles and its vision is to promote sustainable development in rural areas through procurement of fresh horticultural produce and milk from small-scale farmers. Our business aims to target conventional, organic, and fair trade markets. FTE offers fair prices and bonuses for farmers, transparency, ethical sourcing, and traceability through the TruTrade Transaction Security Service operations (TSS). We primarily sell horticultural produce through export markets and supply milk to local Bottom of the Pyramid (BOP) vendors. Second grade horticultural produce is also sold to the Nairobi BOP vendors.
Our Value Chains
FTE is working in two major value chains: horticulture and dairy.
Avocados: Our organic avocados are sourced in Kagundu-ini village, Muranga County, where we have two collection centres each with a FTE agent. Here we are working with over 100 farmers who are growing Hass avocados. The farmers have approximately 60 avocado trees on 1-2 acres of land. We are sending avocados to Oasta (Netherlands) and Direct Fresh (Germany).
French Beans: These are sourced in the Kabaa Irrigation Scheme area in Eastern Kenya. We have two FTE agents working with about 50 farmers and have two collection points. The average cultivation area per farmer is approximately 0.5 to 3 acres. The farmers produce an average of 600kg per week.
Snowpeas and Sugar Snaps: These are sourced from 75 out-growers, in Nyandarua in the Aberdare region and Timau area in Mt Kenya region, where we collect at three centres with an agent at each. The cultivation areas range from 1.5 to 3 acres and the farmers are producing an average of 500kg per farmer per week. The buyers for French beans, snowpeas and sugar snaps are: Direct Fresh (Germany) and Oasta and Univeg (Netherlands).
Dairy: In the milk chain we are dealing with pasteurized milk for the BOP market. We have two agents at our collection centres in the sourcing areas in Kiambaa, in Kiambu area, and Ol Kalau, in Nyandaru area. We are working with approximately 100-120 farmers with a daily average production of 5-10 litres per farmer. The milk collected is supplied to the BOP markets in Nairobi, milk bars, small shops, vendors and small and medium sized supermarkets.
2015 Deals and Projections for 2016
In 2015 trading figures for FTE were approx. annual turnover for vegetables of US$185,250, including French beans (160 tons); snowpeas (80 tons) and sugar snaps (40 tons). The turnover for milk (75,000 litres) was US$36,805. For 2016 we are introducing a new product line (organic avocados) and increasing our established trade. We plan to source one container (40 tons) of organic avocados per week for eight months (32 containers for the season between mid February and the end of October). We intend to increase trade in French beans to 240 tons, snowpeas to 120 tons and sugar snaps to 80 tons per year. Our aim for milk collection in 2016 is 150,000 litres.