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Approximately $0.86 of every dollar of coffee sold by coffee growers worldwide is generated outside the country of origin, leaving the local farmers with minimal income and the local consumers priced out of the finished product.

Congolese coffee company Café Kivu seeks to address this issue by sourcing, roasting, packaging and marketing the best coffees from the Kivu region of the DR Congo locally, thereby capturing most of the value addition processes at origin and fostering economic development in the country.

Café Kivu has a unique business model that works across the entire coffee values chain. With funding from PREO, the company will scale its roasting production using an energy efficient, cost-effective electric roaster connected to a solar hybrid plant. Distribution will also be expanded through a franchise licensing and asset loan system, providing local entrepreneurs with a mobile coffee cart to promote the brand into urban centres.

As well as reaching higher revenue and sales targets, Café Kivu will generate employment opportunities for local youth and women and reduce the total carbon footprint from seed to cup in a cost-effective manner. The company’s ultimate ambition is to develop export markets in the US, Middle East, and Asia.


Koolboks off grid solar refrigerators for fish traders Nigeria-

A lack of reliable refrigeration means that fish traders in Nigeria are unable to sell approximately 30% of their products. Intermittent grid connections – and the high cost of back-up diesel generators – leave their fridges without power for prolonged periods and the fish consequently spoil quickly in the heat. Issues with cooling appliances, therefore have an adverse effect on the sales and profitability of most fish trading enterprises.

Through this PREO-funded project, Koolboks aims to develop a sustainable business model for female fish traders in Nigeria by providing access to off-grid solar refrigerators. In partnership with organizations on the ground in Lagos, Koolboks will pilot a lease-to-own product package that provides full access to a KoolHome solar-powered refrigerator unit that the fish traders pay for in small instalments.

The project will scale up a successful pilot programme completed in 2020 which tested consumer response to KoolHome refrigerators. Koolboks will now empower over 200 female fish traders with 300 affordable solar-powered refrigerators in 12 markets across Lagos whilst also evaluating the wider social and economic impact of solar refrigeration. This affordable cooling solution will also be provided to female purveyors of other frozen goods (e.g. chicken) as there is a high demand for solar refrigeration products in Lagos.