Meet Baobab Products Mozambique at the Organic Africa Pavilion 2021
This year, ProFound will be presenting Baobab Products Mozambique at the Organic Africa Pavilion 20211. Read the article below to know more about the company and their baobab fruit powder.
About Baobab Products Mozambique (BPM)
Baobab Products Mozambique was set up by Eco-MICAIA Ltd, a social enterprise working to create market opportunities for smallholders and primary producers. BPM was established in 2015 to provide women baobab collectors with a better, fairer market for their fruit. In the last five years, BPM has grown to become one of the bigger suppliers of organic certified baobab fruit powder in southern Africa.
BPM is a truly inclusive business. Eco-MICAIA set aside 20% of the shares in BPM for the women Baobab harvesters. BPM and MICAIA work together to help the harvesters play an active role in the planning and running of our company, and ultimately share in its success. The collectors are now represented by a nationally registered Association.
In the north of Manica Province (Guro and Tambara Districts), where BPM buys its baobab fruit, the annual baobab trade is a critical source of cash for some of the poorest families in Mozambique. The area is dry, and farming is difficult. For decades, informal traders exploited the lack of knowledge among women who collected the fruit, paying ridiculously low prices for their products. When BPM started its operations, the Company offered a price four times above the best price paid by any local trader. The price paid by BPM has risen annually, and they have created other opportunities for women in the value chain. In 2020, 1,380 women sold fruit to BPM.
BPM is also an environmentally sustainable business, committed to sustainable harvesting and natural resource management, and running its company to the highest environmentally sustainable standards.
Currently, their business model is focused almost entirely on bulk exports. BPM seeks to build long-term relations with distributor partners who share their commitment to ethical BioTrade principles. BPM also offers organic baobab powder in the Mozambican national market, both in retail packs and to juice and food product manufacturers.
About Baobab and BPM products
The fruit is collected in a short season usually from April-June. Baobab fruit powder is a naturally dehydrated fruit powder found inside the tree’s fruit pods. The powder is homogenized. No preservatives or additives are added. Baobab Fruit powder is 100% natural. As it is packed with vitamins and minerals (especially vitamin C, potassium and calcium) and other nutrients, baobab powder is recognized as an African ‘superfruit’. Baobab’s anti-oxidant power is medically proven. It is full of dietary fibre (four times as much per 100g than an apple) and has documented anti-inflammatory properties.
Perhaps one of the most interesting features of baobab is the growing evidence of its prebiotic benefits – improving gut health.
Product details: Organic Baobab Fruit Powder
BPM’s baobab fruit powder is 100% natural and raw, gluten-free and suitable for vegans. It is certified organic by Ecocert. In appearance, the powder is a fine, off white to deep cream colour. It is naturally dry and BPM has a maximum level of 12% moisture. The powder has a pleasant lightly citric taste, and a slightly sour aroma with a hint of caramel.
The baobab powder is processed in purpose-built milling equipment and sieved through fine mesh sieves.
BPM also has its own range of retail packs, marketed as BaoVita. Packs are available in 150gm and 350gm bio-degradable Kraft paper pouches. While these products are currently marketed only in Mozambique, BPM is looking for distributors in the SADC region (labels are available in English).
BPM gained organic certification (by EcoCert) in 2016 and began exporting baobab powder later that year. In 2020, BPM bought and processed nearly 600 tons of organic certified baobab fruit, sufficient to produce approximately 60 tons of baobab powder.
BPM strives to implement quality control measures at every stage of the supply chain, operating within a HACCP and GMP framework. They set the most rigorous standards for their powder profile, and test every batch in European laboratories. Tests cover standard micro-biological mould and yeast parameters, aflatoxins, heavy metals, and pesticides.
Traceability and quality control
BPM’s commitment to quality begins during the harvest, where all fruit is checked for cracks or other damage. When the fruit is cracked open, by specially trained teams of women, the pulp is scrutinized for insects or mould and any ‘bad’ fruit is rejected. Prior to milling, every sack of pulp and seed is re-checked to ensure that no ‘foreign bodies’ (such as shell fragments) enter the mill. As the powder is produced, it is packed immediately and sewn up.
Every sack of powder sold by BPM can be traced back to its day of production and, from there, to the source of fruit pulp from which the powder was produced.
BPM tests representative samples from every ton of powder they produce. The key tests are for microbiology, mould and moisture. They also test a combined sample from every 5 tons for aflatoxins, pesticides and heavy metals. These tests are carried out in European laboratories.
BPM operates a HACCP plan and monitoring system.
The Organic Africa Pavilion is powered by ProFound and sponsored by COLEACP´s FIT FOR MARKET programme.
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