Kenya-based Twiga Foods is Revolutionizing Africa’s Retail Market
Twiga Foods bridges the gap in food and market security through an organized platform for an efficient, fair, transparent and formal marketplace.
They do this by sourcing for quality produce from thousands of farmers, providing them with a readily guaranteed market, and deliver from their pack houses to thousands of vendors, at prices fair to everyone.
The platform was founded in 2013 by Grant Brooke and Peter Njonjo and it helps to link smallholder farmers in rural Kenya to informal retail vendors in the cities. With Twiga’s mobile platform, vendors can order fresh produce from farmers across Kenya at the most competitive prices.
In 2018, Twiga foods raised $10 million facilitated by the World Bank’s International Finance Corporation (IFC), private equity firm TLcom and the Global Agriculture and Food Security Program and they purported to spend the money on increasing the number of vendors it serves and creating a formal farmer-market linkage and also to reach more farmers, improve efficiency in service delivery and increase access to high quality produce and foodstuffs for vendors.
Grant Brooke, Twiga Foods CEO, said in a press release “we will continue in our mission to provide affordable, quality and safe food to Kenya’s urban consumers and reliable markets for farmers across the country.”
It currently employs about 250 people and works with more than 13,000 farmers and 6,000 vendors in Kenya. They started off by connecting banana farmers to vendors in the cities, but they now work with other farm produce such as cabbage, mango, potato, onions and tomatoes.
Twiga operates collection centers across Kenya, as well as a central pack house with cold storage facilities. The company also owns a large fleet of mobilized trucks and vans for swift collection and distribution of produce, thereby creating efficient logistics system that limits Twiga’s post-harvest losses to 5%, as compared to 30% at informal markets, where many Kenyan farmers usually sell their produce and farmers who sign up with Twiga receive payment within 24 hours.
The platform continually attempts to reinvent Africa’s approach to retail, making it less time-consuming and more efficient.