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“Trade Success” is a series about stories of entrepreneurs who benefit from the Economic Partnership Agreement (EPA) between the European Union (EU) and signatory countries of the Eastern and Southern Africa (ESA) region. In this 11th issue, we talk about Agri Resources Madagascar a company based in Madagascar which exports vanilla, spice exports and essential oils from Madagascar to the EU.

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Agri Resources Madagascar is a subsidiary of Agro Resources Mauritius and is part of the Agri Resources Group S.A., headquartered in Luxembourg.

The Agri Resources Group has developed an asset base in strategic locations across the globe including in: Bulgaria, Luxembourg, Monaco, Benin, Congo, Republic of Guinea, Ghana, Northern Macedonia, Madagascar and Mauritius. The Group employs over 680 people and cultivates over 82,000 hectares of agricultural land.

The group’s core business includes the growing, sourcing, processing, marketing and distribution of agricultural products. Agri Resources Group S.A.’s companies participate in the food and ingredient value chains in the European and African markets, and serve leading international customers in the food and cosmetics industries.

The company’s mission is to bring consumers and producers closer together, creating more value and opportunities for its local partners and ensuring better quality products, while ensuring consumer safety and minimising the environmental footprint.

Company profile:

Founded in 2015 in Antalaha, in the SAVA region found in the North-East of Madagascar, the company specialises in the production of vanilla and spices in Madagascar and owns 3 plantations of 145 hectares as well as two processing centres. The company’s agricultural equipments are mainly imported from France and Italy with 0% customs duty.

In January 2022, Agri Resources Madagascar completed the construction of an essential oil distillery, located near its fields. This new distillery is equipped with a pressurised boiler (up to 6 bar and a capacity of 400Kg of steam/h) and two independent 2,500 litre stills.

The team is currently carrying out the first trials and the main products distilled would be patchouli, ginger, turmeric, cinnamon, lemongrass, palmarosa citrus leaves and pepper, all certified organic by Ecocert. The selected crops are complementary to vanilla and are grown according to Good Agricultural Practices, which are applied in all Agri Ressources Madagascar plantations.

Having its own plantations and obtaining its spices directly from local producers, the company is able to offer the best Malagasy products at competitive prices.

Pursuing a sustainable and fair expansion:

The company is environmentally conscious and conducts its business in a sustainable manner. All fields are managed sustainably according to agroecology precepts (absence of chemicals,

crop combinations, rotations, maintaining vegetation cover, preservation of residual forest and local species and reforestation). In 2019, the company obtained Ecocert Organic Agriculture (AB) certification and in 2021 FairTrade certification.

The company is committed to respecting and promoting workers’ rights, safer working conditions and fairer remuneration throughout the supply chain. To ensure traceability and quality of products, as well as fair remuneration for farmers, the group works closely with the Association ‘Inside Madagascar’ and the APVAM (Association des Planteurs de Vanille d’Ankavia Meva) – which currently includes more than 600 producers.

Involved on the ground, the company also offers training to producers on the preparation of vanilla in order to improve quality and enable them to capture more of the sector’s added value. In 2021, the company helped 70 farmers to obtain organic certification for their plantations.

Today, the company is embarking on a new adventure, retailing and offering customers AB-certified vanilla beans, grown, processed, exported and marketed by them. This latest approach makes them, to date, the only players in the vanilla industry to have no intermediaries and to be able to guarantee a 100% traceable product from the field to the end consumer.

Key facts:

  • Incorporated in 2015 in Madagascar with 2 employees, the company now has 150 employees
  • Produces approximately 41 tonnes of vanilla per year
  • Exports about 35 tonnes of vanilla per year to the EU countries including France, the Netherlands and Italy

Main achievements over the years:

  • Possess 3 plantations of 145 hectares, 2 processing centres and an essential oil distillery
  • Works closely with the Inside Madagascar Association and APVAM.
  • Provides training to producers on vanilla preparation and, in 2021, helped 70 farmers obtain organic certification for their plantations.
  • Their focus on quality, the implementation of sustainable farming practices and their work with local producers allow them to keep major customers in the food and cosmetics industries.
  • The Group is one of the few exporters to have achieved vertical integration in its activities.

How did the EPA help?

Our exports to EU countries currently represent more than 85% of our total exports. Thanks to the Economic Partnership Agreement, we export our products to the European market with 0% customs duty and no quotas. In addition, this agreement allows our company to import materials from the EU at 0% duty. Our imports and exports to and from the EU are procedures that are straightforward and are simpler as compared to other destinations such as the USA.

“ … Our imports and exports to and from the EU are procedures that are straightforward and are simpler as compared to other destinations such as the USA.”

Agri Resources Madagascar

Matthieu Lougarre, Chief Executive Officer

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