Mali: Mango exporter ETS Yaffa & Frères benefits from a business loan

The ABC Fund (Agri-Business Capital) recently provided loans to three African agri-businesses to support their working capital needs and expansion, enabling higher rural employment and securing market access for farmers in their respective sectors (African Farming, 3 June).

Yaffa et frères
Image source : ETS Yaffa et Frères

One of the successful companies is COLEACP member Etablissement Yaffa & Frères, one of the largest local fresh mango exporters in Mali.

Yaffa has been a member of COLEACP since 2007, and over the past 12 years has received technical and training support from COLEACP programmes to obtain and maintain organic farming certification, GLOBALG.A.P. certification, and the Business Social Compliance Initiative (BSCI) workplace standard.

Since 2019 Yaffa has been working with COLEACP’s Business Development service on the first revision of its business plan, and on how to approach global investors. In February 2020, during the Fruit Logistica trade show in Berlin, COLEACP introduced the company’s Managing Director to Injaro Investments Limited, the ABC Fund’s investment advisor. With prior consent from Yaffa, information was shared with Injaro on the current partnership with COLEACP – technical activities, sustainability report (based on COLEACP’s Sustainability Self Assessment System), business support provided so far, training received, and the current status of Yaffa’s individual action plan, signed in October 2018.

Yaffa’s application was successful, and the company has now received ABC Fund financing of €250,000 in working capital to purchase mangoes and cover related export costs to meet increasing European demand for the product. The financing will enable Yaffa to increase its sales, and to continue buying mangoes from 310 farmers and employing 200 seasonal workers at its packaging site.

Solène Prince-Agbodjan, Injaro’s Investment Director, commented on the three loans: “Given the challenges caused by the global pandemic, we are pleased to have approved these loans in time to meet the seasonal working capital needs of these agri-businesses which are all important contributors to West Africa’s rural economies. We commend the business owners and the team members for their hard work and persistence that made this possible. We look forward to a long and impactful relationship between these promising businesses and the ABC Fund.”

Two of the three ABC Fund loans are in the mango sector (the second is to ROCFED in Côte d’Ivoire), and enable the provision of financing to SMEs that usually do not have access to local finance. Financial institutions are generally reluctant to finance mango activities due to the short harvest season of only 3–4 months a year.

ETS Yaffa & Frères is a Malian company that produces and exports fresh mangoes. The mangoes are packed in Bamako, in the company’s own station and in the Plaza joint station. Yaffa exports most of its produce (67%) to Europe (France and the Netherlands), 30% to the regional market (Morocco and Gabon), and 3% on the local market. The company is GLOBALG.A.P. and GRASP certified. Yaffa is planning to set up a modern orchard, to install a cold room, and to build a large fruit processing unit for the export market. The processing unit is intended to produce dried mango and mango juice, and other fruits.

The ABC Fund (Agri-Business Capital) is a blended-finance impact fund which provides catalytic financing to underserved yet profitable segments of agribusiness value chains in developing countries.

This business support is provided through the Fit For Market programme, implemented by COLEACP within the Framework of Development Cooperation between the Organisation of African, Caribbean and Pacific States (OACPS) and the European Union, and co-funded by the French Development Agency (AFD).