Our first project was the africaJUICE Tibila Share Company in Ethiopia's Upper Awash valley, 150 km to the south-east of the capital, Addis Ababa. The project involved the transformation of a former state-owned fruit farm to create a modern tropical fruit plantation combined with a new processing facility. We started operations in 2009 and the first phase saw an investment of some US$10million to rehabilitate the farms, establish passion fruit and construct the facility. We were the first Fairtrade certified tropical fruit juice business in sub-Saharan Africa.
We successfully introduced passion fruit as a new commercial crop to Ethiopia and have some 1000 hectares in total under cultivation of all crops. We employ almost 2000 people across the sites. We also developed a new value chain for processing local mangoes and we have exported mango puree from Ethiopia periodically while primarily focusing this product on serving the strongly growing local beverage market through import substitution.