ProFound Newsletter - November 2016
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Newsletter - November 2016

  1. Profound launches new website full of impact stories
  2. Innovative certification tool enables northern Pakistani suppliers to sustainably source pine nuts
  3. Highlights in Q2 / Q3 
  4. Activities in Q4 2016

ProFound launches new website full of impact stories

As part of our new communications strategy, ProFound is proud to launch their new website and newsletter. “It is full of positive stories that we build around the world, furthering the business of suppliers in developing countries to bring natural ingredients to the international market.” We want to inform and inspire with the opportunities that lie in developing and upgrading natural ingredients value chains. We love our work and believe that our solutions can make a change in the way business is done worldwide.

Our mission:
“Local income generation and sustainable sourcing
by linking natural ingredients producers to the market.”


Read our stories, solutions, principles or learn how we accomplish our achievements with our team, partners and clients.

Innovative certification tool enables northern
Pakistani suppliers to sustainably source pine nuts

Pine nuts are an important cash crop for communities in mountainous areas of Pakistan. Due to growing demand worldwide, pine nuts are increasingly collected unsustainably from the forest. This happens when all cones from a single tree are collected instead of leaving a sufficient number of cones on the trees for natural regeneration. Under the umbrella of CBI and Mountains and Markets project (GEF/UNDP), ProFound is designing a pilot project in Northern Pakistan, focused on sustainable sourcing of high quality pine nuts.

This is achieved by implementing multiple quality guidelines and standards simultaneously  such as GACP, organic, Fair For Life and FairWild. Jesse Bloemendaal, senior consultant at ProFound: “The communities can then source high quality pine nuts from the forests without risking exhaustion of the natural resource. At the same time, conservation efforts are strengthened by linking the community enterprises to ethical buyers to ensure income for the communities. We highlight this story on our new website.”

During their visit to Pakistan in July, Bert-Jan Ottens of ProFound and Michael Schwegler (our IN2NI colleague) prepared the grounds for an innovative pilot scheme. The pilot aims to sustainably source and certify wild-collected Chilgoza pine nuts from the Northern valleys of Pakistan. They took stock of current collection and processing practices of Community Biodiversity Enterprises (CBEs) in the valleys, are responsible for collecting Chilgoza pine nuts from their communal forests. Preliminary findings reveal that the CBEs as well as processing and exporting companies can significant improvements to sustainably source from their forests are achieved.

This October, ProFound trained CBI-engaged processing and exporting companies to adopt sustainable sourcing and certification practices, as part of our Business Planning solution. In the same process ProFound trained certification inspectors to use our certification tool in their inspection and certification processes. This tool creates a single documentation set to facilitate the process of  certification of organic, Fair for Life and FairWild in a user and cost friendly manner.

Highlights in Q2 / Q3 2016

ProFound assesses economic opportunities biodiversity Southeast Asia due to winning bid

Together with Helvetas Swiss Intercooperation and Klaus Dürbeck Consulting, ProFound has won a bid for regional bio-trade in Vietnam, Lao PDR and Myanmar. Local economic development and sustained biodiversity are ProFound’s goals. Bert-Jan, ProFound Executive Director: “Our work in bio-trade in Southeast Asia will improve the sustainable sourcing of natural ingredients from this region. ProFound will develop business models for sustainably sourced, traceable and value-added natural ingredients.” 

ProFound will assess the export potential of natural ingredients from Southeast Asia, provide training to the suppliers of these ingredients and connect them to international buyers. “Our first visit to Vietnam is scheduled for November this year“, according to Bert-Jan, “where we will help producers add value to their ingredients and gain access to regional, European and other international markets”.

Interested to learn more about our work in regional biotrade? Contact Robbie or check our website to stay up to date.

ProFound expands variety of export packaging solutions for Ethiopian honey suppliers

ProFound is currently tackling the export packaging bottleneck in the Ethiopian honey sector. In order to successfully export to Europe, steel drums are required as many European buyers only accept honey packed in steel drums. This is important as the use of other materials such as plastic result in durability and quality risks. For example, plastic drums poses a higher risk of quality deterioration during transport and they can easily collapse when stacked. See how ProFound has addressed this in three ways.

1. Successfully brokered a deal for the supply of used steel drums to Ethiopia;
2. Negotiating a deal for cheaper import of new steel drums to Ethiopia, by consolidating orders and lobbying with the government for preferential import conditions.
3. Collecting data on the size and development of the Ethiopian drums market.

Read more about Ethiopian honey on our new website.

Activities in Q4 2016

Four lessons learned to develop natural ingredients sector strategy for South Africa
After two years of identifying bottlenecks to export for suppliers of natural ingredients in South Africa, a new strategy for the entire sector is taking shape. “The third strategic workshop of DTI and CBI on Natural Ingredients in South Africa, on the 28th of October, brought together all relevant stakeholders to agree on a strategy for the sector,” Robbie Hogervorst, senior consultant at ProFound. Check our new website to see our 4 key lessons learned.
Building local marketing capacities in Kosovo
ProFound is currently engaging with local marketing companies in Kosovo to strengthen their capacities to support the private sector through training. The need to support local marketing companies was identified during earlier assessments and interventions by ProFound, in the framework of Swisscontact’s Promoting Private Sector Employment programme. This served as a basis to build the curriculum used for this training. Learn how we are improving Kosovo's food marketing at trade fairs.
Market studies Oilseeds, Vegetable Oils and Honey & Sweeteners online soon
ProFound´s market analysis on the Oilseeds, Vegetable Oils and Honey & Sweeteners sectors will be published shortly on CBI’s website. Currently, we are also investigating the sectors of Natural Food Additives, Natural Ingredients for Health Products, Natural Ingredients for Cosmetics, Cacao, Coffee, Wine, Tea and Herbs & Spices. CBI plans to publish these between the end of 2016 and the beginning of 2017.
ProFound brought four Pakistani food suppliers to SIAL 2016 to export their products
Together with our partner Klaus Duerbeck, ProFound guided four Pakistani suppliers in exporting rice, spices and herbs to Europe as part of CBI’s Pakistan Food Ingredients programme. Between the 16th and 20th of October, Kanwal TradingKausar, Minex,  and Zaiqa presented their products at SIAL 2016 in Paris, the foremost trade fair for food innovation in Europe. Did you miss them at SIAl? You can contact Jesse Bloemendaal at for more information and their contact details.
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ProFound - Advisers In Development · Lange Smeestraat 55, Binnenstad, Utrecht, Nederland · Utrecht, 3511 PV · Netherlands

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