Embracing challenges to resume business
Dutch-Tanzanian joint venture kicks off its first export season during COVID-19 and steps in to support local health systems
The logistics of sourcing products from farmers remains a major challenge for Trianon Investments.
The company is a joint venture resulting from the collaboration between Dutch spices expert Mr. Paul de Rooij, from Bapa Trading, and Tanzanian exporter Mr. Edward Rukaka and his wife Ms. Fatima, from the spices exporting company Companero Farmers.
It has been busy with its first export season since it began operations in early 2020.
By March, the company had purchased equipment and tools to ensure compliance with various international standards, achieve better product quality and reduce the carbon footprint of their shipments.
Investment in a modified tractor and trailer has proved instrumental in responding to the specific requirements of working in the terrain. From mid-June onwards this will used to collect produce from famers in the area.
Trianon is also taking steps to secure the health of the local community during the pandemic. Trianon Investments spent USD 5,000 from its very first sales to purchase 100,000 disposable aprons, 200 reusable facemasks and 2,000 medical masks for hospitals in the region. This protective gear is currently on its way to Tanzania. Co-founders Mr. Rukaka and Mr. de Rooij know that by the time the gear reaches its destination availability will be even more of a concern and hope that their donation will help to keep Tanzanians safe.
Despite the outbreak of COVID-19, Trianon Investments successfully managed to conclude all pending orders and made shipments to Rotterdam and to Italy.
One of these shipments is on its way to Rotterdam, where it will be sold at the end of June. At the same time, Trianon Investments crushed 10 metric tonnes of cinnamon, which are now ready to be shipped. Fourteen metric tonnes of black pepper will also be processed and upgraded before being sent to Rotterdam.
The formation of the joint venture was facilitated by the International Trade Centre, under the Market Access Upgrade Programme (MARKUP).
The Market Access Upgrade Programme (MARKUP) is a regional development initiative conceived by the East African Community (EAC) Secretariat in partnership with the European Union (EU) and implemented by various agencies, including the International Trade Centre (ITC) and Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ). The MARKUP aims to increase exports of agribusiness and horticultural products and promote regional integration and access to the European market by addressing specific challenges that Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs), Trade and Investment Support Institutions (TISIs) and policy-makers face in accessing regional and EU export markets.