Supermarket supplier looking for farmers to buy fruits from

Fresh an Juici limited, a regional company supplying fresh fruits to 56 Nakumatt and Tuskys supermarket outlets across East Africa is buying fruits from individual farmers across major towns in Kenya, Uganda, Tanzania and Rwanda, bringing a new market to the door steps of rural smallholder fruit farmers. Normally, such farmers would only sell their produce through hawking in local markets, often incurring huge losses due to the perishable nature of their produce.
Conditions favorable for smallholder farmers
Unlike other companies which normally place tough tender rules that lock out cash starved low scale producers, Fresh and Juici allows customers either in groups or individuals to deliver their commodities at designated warehouses, mostly located near the supermarkets outlets where they are checked for quality and weighed.
Delivery procedure
According to Erick Karani, of Fruit an Juici, Karen, all a farmer has to do is to sign a delivery contact which states the type of fruit, quantity and payment mode at the company’s head office located in Limuru. The farmer should come with samples of the fruits he has produced so as to be advised on whether the quality meets the company’s threshold.
A statement posted on the company’s website shows that at least 80 per cent of their suppliers are local small scale farmers who deliver their stocks to the warehouse on a daily basis. ‘’The prices are negotiated according to the prevailing market prices as the company does not condone exploitation. Furthermore, the company also provides free advisory services to such farmers as a means of improving their business,’’ reads the statement.
These novel business that directly links smallholder farmers to the market is economically transforming the lives of many smallholder fruit farmers in the country, if Jane Mugo’s story is anything to go by. Initially, Mugo, a water melon farmer in Kinungi area near Naivasha used to compete with several vendors in various open air markets in Nairobi.
‘’Selling 200 water melons each with an average weight of 5kg at a throw away price of Sh40 was regarded as a wonderful market day. On most occasions we donated them to street children to avoid waste due to lack of market,’’ said Mugo. Currently, Mugo sell all her fruits at fair price, thanks to a contact she signed with Fruit an Juici two years ago.
The company has a fleet of trucks, which collect fruit from several towns within the region and take them to the warehouses scattered around major towns and cities in the four countries, insulating farmers from transportation costs and blunders that normally eat into their returns.
Company's  history
Fresh an Juici limited which started as a vegetable and fruit stall in Likoni in the 1970s registered as a company in 2008 and is now one of the leading suppliers of fresh produce in the whole of East Africa. The company has two other businesses: Shree Ganesh Vegetable Limited and Fresh Squeeze, both of which deal the supply of vegetables and fresh fruit juice in supermarket stalls around East Africa.