RWANDA – Africa Improved Foods (AIF), Rwanda based local manufacturer of fortified foods has named Edouard Spicher as the company’s new CEO taking over from Amar Ali, who has been at the helm since 2016.

Taking over leadership of the company, Edouard comes with a 25 years track record as a Senior Executive in the consumer goods sector with a strong background in emerging markets.

He has worked with organizations such as Fan Milk International as CEO and Nestle in different capacities, across different markets.

“It is our pleasure to welcome Edouard Spicher to the family and we also take this opportunity to wish him every success in his new role.”

Africa Improved Foods

“We’re excited to have Edouard Spicher on board as he leads Africa Improved Foods to further its vision of becoming a trusted Africa-based producer of high-quality, nutritious and complementary foods to help prevent malnutrition.

“It is our pleasure to welcome him to the family and we also take this opportunity to wish him every success in his new role,” stated AIF in a social media post.

AIF deepens commitment in food value chain

The food processing company recently partnered with the Clinton Foundation to boost Malawi farmers’ incomes amidst COVID-19.

The collaboration is geared towards helping AIF source soybeans from farming communities in Malawi, supporting farmers’ livelihoods and strengthening local agricultural economies.

These soya beans are used to produce supplementary nutritious foods that are used to fight malnutrition in thousands of children.

The partnership began in the 2018/2019 season, where over the course of four months, AIF purchased 2.2 million pounds (997 metric tons) of soybeans produced by Clinton Development Initiative farming communities in the country, generating more than US$408,000 for the farmers.

This season, despite challenges due to COVID-19, AIF purchased nearly double the volume of the produce as the previous season at above Malawi market prices.

In total, about 4 million pounds (1,793 metric tons) were produced by farmer cooperatives and marketing groups in Malawi, generating US$773,536.

This injection of revenue going directly into the hands of farmers is a critical step in building not only trust between farming communities and the markets but also resilient and sustainable regional trade.

Paradzai Thompson, Sourcing Manager Agricultural Commodities for Africa Improved Foods Rwanda stressed that the partnership with CDI has resulted in AIF purchasing an additional 1,855 MT from other traders in Malawi generating an additional US$850,864 in foreign currency for the country.

Further deepening its commitment to nutrition throughout the food value chain, AIF completed a strategic acquisition of business activities of the Rwandan start-up, Kumwe Harvest.

Over the past three years, Kumwe Harvest has introduced a series of novel post-harvest handling approaches to the Rwandan maize value chain.

These innovations, collectively coined as the ‘Cob Model,’ have eliminated major quality challenges – particularly aflatoxin – otherwise forcing premium buyers like AIF to rely on imports instead of local sourcing.

As a result of the “cob model”, local rejection rates for AIF have dropped from 90% to under 5%, and not only provide market security to farmers, but also boost their income due to reduced post-harvest costs, reduced losses, and access to premium pricing.

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