An initiative of

Anthony Ngugi

Mavuno Organics

Hi, I’m Anthony Ngugi and I am the CEO of Mavuno Organics.  Together with around 80 passionate farmers we grow, sort and pack organic avocados here in Kenia.  Thank you for buying our products!

Although Kenya is known for its rich soils and excellent agricultural climate, the country does not have a very long history when it comes to avocado production.  As demand for organic fruits and vegetables and in particular avocado’s continues to rise, more growers are choosing to grow these delicious fruits.  The growers we work with intercrop the avo’s with papaya, corn, banana, macadamia nuts and coffee ensuring a rich soil and a wide variety of flora and fauna.

At Mavuno Organic we ensure that the growers are well rewarded for producing premium organic fruit.  This means that they now receive almost three times more money for their fruit compared to their conventional neighbours.  These contracts ensure the farmers cannot only invest in the future of their children but also improve the quality of their orchards.  Through close communication, mentorship and technical assistance in the field we are able to bring the quality of our Hass avocado’s to an even higher level.

 

Interview with Anthony

N&M: What motivated you to get involved in organic farming? 
Anthony: from 1996 – 1999, I studied Bio-intensive Agriculture at the Manor House Agricultural Center in Kitale.  There we learned about fertilization and crop protection the natural way!  For me, to a large extent, conventional methods for food production do not make sense.  It  just does not feel right to use such chemicals when you are growing natural, nutritious food.  We are all an ‘interwoven, part of the whole’ and we need to respect the lifeforms in the way nature intended it to be.

N&M: What is your philosophy when it comes to paying the farmers?
Anthony: I believe that if you want to run a successful agricultural business you need to invest in the farmer. Our growers receive almost three times more than their non organic neighbor.  We are seeing that the farmers are reinvesting their extra income into their family and their trees. This way we are not only improving the lives of the next generation but are also improving the quality and quantity of the avocados and that is good news for everyone. 

N&M: When it comes to avocados, what are the plans for the future?
Anthony: Our focus is on quality and technical assistance. As mentioned by paying our growers much more than others they are able to invest in the quality of their trees.  Although things are looking good we still have a lot of homework to do.  That is why we will continue to focus on training and education for example regarding composting, pruning, pre and post harvest.  Quality improvement is an ongoing process.  You can never lean back in your chair and say you are finished.

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Living Wages Pilot - Beyond minimum Wage

Eosta is one of the first agricultural trading companies to conduct a living wage research pilot, in close collaboration with IDH and Hivos. The goal of the pilot, which was conducted in 2018 for a Kenyan avocado supplier, was to find out whether living wages could be used to improve social sustainability measurements. The pilot led to a new Quick Assessment method and showed that a focus on living wages can lead to better connections within the supply chain.

Download the report here

 

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