Which "assets" in Africa can be used to brand African agricultural produce?
Charles TellierSenior Advisor to Executive Director for France World Bank Group
2 points. Voted up by Charles Tellier,
Hi Ojvind,

It's an issue an number of donors and NGOs have worked on. I'd recommend you take a look at Light Years IP' report for UK DFID on that very topic: http://www.lightyearsip.net/scopingstudy/

But I guess short answer is you need distinctive enough products that you can build into a brand through both promotion/advertising and through supply restrictions (as Ethiopia does for its trademarked coffees). Building rareness is key.

So the underlying "assets" that you mention in your question are specifics in soil and weather (and possibly traditions/methods of cultivation) that make an ag produce special: what's known as "terroir". It's mainly used for beverage (wine and spirits) but is also true of many food products like sausage (think Corsican vs. Genoan, etc.) or poultry, or for tobacco (eg. hand-rolled Cuban cigars).

The trouble is, the terroir has to be known to connoisseurs as special enough to warrant going some way to finding the product and paying the extra price. In Africa, there aren't many places that qualify as terroir, not because the product is not better (it might well be), but because it's unknown to all but the very few that whatever product from that place is indeed better: some cocoa and coffee beans spring to mind, but that's about it.

I hope that's useful!
Sep 14, 2012

Ojvind KrabbeFounder AfricaPace
Dear Mr. Tellier, thank you for your insightful answer. I have looked at lightyearsip and there are some interesting information about this subject too. I will go ahead and contact them and I will revert to you if and when I get useful information. Kind regards Ojvind Krabbe
Sep 17, 2012
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