A Kenyan herbal exporter wants to expand into the United States and Scandinavia

A Kenyan herbal exporter wants to expand into the United States and Scandinavia

A Kenyan farmer and exporter, who currently supplies the European market with fresh herbs, is looking to expand into the US and Scandinavia markets. “However, this is easier said than done given the high cost of air freight,” says Solomon Mombi, CEO of Avohass, a grower and exporter of fresh herbs from Kenya to Europe.

(left) Solomon Mombi, CEO of Avohass, and (right) Dominique Chige, of Zwei, also based in Kenya.

“We grow and export basil, rosemary, mint, sage, oregano and tarragon. And we export all these cut herbs when it is winter in Europe, that is, from September to May. Air transportation has been difficult in recent years, but we have done it, even when the cost of air transportation has tripled. Even if customers complained, they needed the product and had to buy at those high prices,” Mumby says along with Macfrut 2023.

In Europe, Israel and South America are the main competitors, while in Italy they produce all year round and are very nationalistic and prefer local products. Mombi explains: “Our advantage is that our products are 99% organic. Logistics is our biggest challenge.We use lines from Qatar Airways, Kenya Airways, Kenya Airways.We want to move away from air freight to sea freight, but we need to reduce transit days.We need container refrigerator.Controlled atmosphere containers are expensive, but they Still much cheaper than air freight.”

According to Mumbi, expansion is good, but it also depends on what the market wants and what the company can offer. Although many producers in Kenya have switched to profitable avocado cultivation, this does not concern the exporter. “When there is a peak in the market, we have enough supply. And we always have a supply schedule. We have contracts with about 200 farmers and source from them if we run out. Kenya is a big country, so not all of them can produce avocados. There is a lot of water in Kenya. We have natural springs and rivers.”

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biggest challenges
“Our biggest challenge is logistics. We are located at the airport, where we have our own logistics company. In Kenya we always have to compete with flowers for cargo space,” concludes Mombi.

for more information:
Solomon Momby
+254 726877189
info @ Averhasslimited @ gmail.com

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