February 7, 2023

Founded by social entrepreneur Elia Timotheo in 2013, East Africa Fruits addresses food distribution challenges to improve efficiencies in the farm-to-market sector via a B2B e-commerce platform.

The company provides a stable, fair market for horticulture crops by aggregating supply and demand and improving cold chain distribution and warehousing infrastructure that reduces post-harvest loss and increases the availability and quality of produce in local markets. 

They aggregate demand and deliver a wide range of fresh and exotic produce directly from farms to stores of B2B customers – retailers, wholesalers, local vendors, restaurants and cafés, hotels, and exporters. 

They support smallholder farmers with crop planning in alignment with marketplaces, upgrading farm-side infrastructure, and transitioning to sustainable practices.

East Africa Fruits provides a stable, fair market for horticulture crops by aggregating supply and demand and improving cold chain distribution and warehousing infrastructure that reduces post-harvest loss and increases the availability and quality of produce in local markets.

East Africa Fruits is also a social enterprise integrating sellers with buyers of fresh fruits, vegetables, and grains. It also supports smallholder farmers in crop planning in alignment with marketplaces, upgrading farm-side infrastructure, and transitioning to sustainable practices.

Additionally, East Africa Fruits links smallholder farmers across the country to hundreds of informal market vendors, and more formal hotels, restaurants, and supermarkets in Tanzania’s commercial capital and largest city, Dar es Salaam. 

The company has built the infrastructure that enables it to collect produce directly from farmers and deliver it straight to these customers. 

That infrastructure includes collection and aggregation centers for produce in areas close to smallholders, and cold chain logistics such as refrigerated trucks and warehouses that increase produce shelf-life.

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 In effect, East Africa Fruits replaces multiple middlemen, allowing them to reduce wastage, ensure quality, pass more of the final price back to farmers and reduce costs for vendors.

 That, in turn, is breeding more confidence for farmers in an offtake market, with East Africa Fruits expected to grow its farmer supplier network more than five-fold, from the current 1,300 to 7,000. 

Due to market demand, East Africa Fruits expects to purchase an average of 4,800 kilograms of produce annually from each farmer, up from the current 2,000 kilograms.

How it Works

Training

They offer an opportunity to farmers by working with them through ongoing training and support until the point of harvest where we purchase what they have produced, specifically fruits and vegetables, and process them by cleaning, sorting, packing, and marketing.

Processing & Value Addition

The company owns a facility in Bunju, Tanzania. Where fruits and vegetables are processed by cleaning, sorting, packing, sourcing, quality control, and drying.

Distribution

They carry a full line distribution of well-packed fruits. Whether you are a chain or independent retailer, white tablecloth restaurant, institutional/ food service buyer, or food processor, we offer the finest quality, unparalleled customer service, and the greatest value available in Tanzania.

Founders

Elia Timotheo

Elia Timotheo

Elia Timotheo is the Founder & CEO of East Africa Fruits.

He previously worked at AMEJ Investment Limited as a Co-Founder, Board Member, and Minority shareholder. 

He is passionate about agribusiness and solutions that help solve market inefficiencies aiming at improving the lives of smallholder farmers and those who are underserved. 

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At East Africa Fruits, he has enabled it to stand as the leading food distribution company in Tanzania, intending to improve the lives of tens of thousands of farmers and small businesses in the region.

Elia Timotheo attended Mzumbe University.

Investors & Funding Rounds

Goodwell Investments, FINCA Ventures, Elea

 East Africa Fruits has closed a Series A funding round worth US$3.1 million as it aims to build essential supply chain infrastructure and better transport fresh produce directly from farms to urban marketplaces and the debt capital will help the company to grow its operations. 

The round was led by Goodwell Investments with participation from FINCA Ventures and elea. 

Over the next three years, the company plans to serve over 10,000 farmers and 6,000 small-and-medium enterprises (SME) vendors. 

The company will also acquire new machinery for its main distribution center and build essential infrastructure and technology to collect, store and distribute produce to match demand more accurately.

The investment in East Africa Fruits will help address many challenges because the substantial impact on enhancing food security and empowering the farmers through market linkage, driven by outstanding local entrepreneurs, makes East Africa Fruits a perfect match to the investment philosophy.

Additionally, East Africa Fruits has raised $2.05 million in its round of Series A equity funding. The company’s goal is to improve efficiencies in the farm-to-market sector.

They will use the funding to build essential supply chain infrastructure, improve the transportation of fresh produce from farms to urban markets, and strengthen livelihoods for small-scale farmers and food vendors.

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Main Competitors

ELSE Nutrition: This is a food and nutrition company that manufactures packaged food products.

Sambazon: It offers fresh juices, smoothies, and frozen products made from blends of wild-harvested fruits and botanicals.

Planet Fitness: This is a provider of fitness training programs and classes.

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