MONDAY June 23, 2023
By Adam Ihucha
The Tranquility News Correspondent, Tanzania
Tanzania’s sole farmers-owned logistic company plans a major foray into fresh produce terminal venture, as it seeks to tap into a multi-billion-dollar fresh food supply chain business.
TAHA Fresh Handling Ltd, is currently fine-tuning its business plan to spearhead establishment of a number of state-of-the-art fresh produce terminals in key inland, airport and ports in Tanzania to cater for export of perishables like horticulture, meat, live and frozen fish from within and six landlocked countries.
“These ultra-modern facilities will be serving as strategic consolidation centres for perishable cargo from Tanzania and neighbouring countries. Apart from commercial interest, our foray into fresh produce terminal business is to position the country as a real regional gateway to Africa and global markets,” TAHA Fresh Board Chairperson, Dr Jacqueline Mkindi, said.
Dr Mkindi, who is an Agri-business specialist, said as demand for perishable commodities continues skyrocketing around the world, the customised, competitive and efficient logistics services become more imperative to deliver perishable goods to retailers’ shelves quickly, and in the best possible condition.
Supply chain distances and times have increased for a great deal, more in some corners of the world than others, and so have challenges involved in getting fresh produce from source to destination before spoilage renders it unsalable.
“From the moment the fish is landed, the beast slaughtered, the fruit or vegetable is harvested, or the flowers sorted and bundled into cold room, time and distance become enemies of freshness,” she explained, adding:
“In fact, fresh produce typically spends up to 50 per cent of its shelf life in transit between supplier and retailer, so the clock is ticking from the moment it begins its journey to retailers’ shelves.”
Dr Mkindi said the whole idea of venturing into fresh produce terminal, among other interests, is to complement painstaking efforts of the President, Dr Samia Suluhu Hassan, to position Tanzania ahead of time in terms of effective logistic services.
With an investment in a cargo freighter and large passenger aircrafts as well as improved ports, the government is investing multi-billion of shillings in putting together a robust infrastructure for efficient logistics services and, therefore, it is up to the private sector to complement these efforts with hardware and soft skills required for making these projects successful.
In his keynote address at the just ended second edition of International Africa Avocado Congress in Nairobi, Kenya, TAHA Fresh Handling Ltd General Manager, Mr Amani Temu, said as a farmers owned company, its philosophy is to work on long-term initiatives as it seeks to spur inclusive growth of all businesses regardless of their sizes.
“As we embark on taking a road less travelled, therefore, we are open to work with donors, partners and investors who share similar conviction in a fresh produce terminal business,” Mr Temu told the African premier Avocado investment forum.
Deficit of fresh produce terminals to prolong the freshness of produce and deliver to consumers in the best possible condition is denying Tanzania opportunity for exploiting its geographical comparative advantage as the East African Community (EAC) and the Southern African Development Community (SADC) trade gateway and logistical hub.
“As a matter of fact, TAHA Fresh Handling Ltd, is capitalising on Tanzania’s comparative advantage derived from its strategic location for transport and logistics as it provides vital access to world markets for the country’s hinterland and six landlocked nations of Burundi, Rwanda, DR Congo, Uganda, Zambia and Malawi,” Mr Temu said.
TAHA Fresh Handling Ltd is a several local and regional awards winner, with its latest being the prestigious East Africa Maritime Awards (EAMA) as the best logistic firm, for facilitating multi-million-dollar horticultural exports.
The company emerged winner in a cutthroat competition brought by companies from across the breadth of the maritime sector, comprising the shipping, ports, services, engineering, and leisure marine industries with operations in Kenya, Uganda, Tanzania, Rwanda, Burundi, South Sudan and the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC).
Mr Amani said his logistic firm has been playing a critical role in absorbing costly and time-consuming cross-border non-tariff barriers to export horticulture produce overseas.
TAHA Fresh Ltd offers a wide range of horticultural products export and import services, including its flagship airfreight, clearing, and forwarding, refrigerated trucking, perishable handling, sea freight from both Dar es Salaam and Mombasa ports.
Indeed, TAHA Fresh Ltd is slowly, but surely becoming a leading horticultural logistics specialist, which understands and designs solutions for the country’s nearly $800 million worth nascent industry.
As it stands now, TAHA Fresh Ltd is an official member of the World Cargo Alliance (WCA) network. The WCA is the world’s most powerful grouping of independent freight forwarders with more than 6,473 members in 789 cities and ports worldwide.
This implies that TAHA Fresh Ltd is currently part of the 6,473 freight forwarders who are present in over 190 countries worldwide. As if that was not enough, the company is also a member of the International Air Transport Association (IATA) and the International Federation of Freight Forwarders Association (FIATA).
This means that the perishable exporters across East Africa enjoy reliable and competitive services from multiple global freight forwarders across the worldΩ