1. Establish the 'Heart of Africa' brand in the grocery food market in Ireland.
2. Develop a transferable 'tool box' to ensure the 'Brand for Good' model can be replicated in other regions and in other export markets.
3. Test the 'tool box' with a fruit growing and processing co-operative in southern Haiti, aiming to launch their brand into the US market.
Targets: To generate a sustainable and profitable annual sales rate of over $1,000,000 to its companies in developing countries. To replicate and implement the 'Brand For Good' model in a minimum of 7 countries by 2009.
Anticipated Launch: Heart of Africa May 2007, Haitian brand March 2008
First Milestone: Brand support program to commence in September 2007
In 2005, a group of Irish business people went to Uganda and agreed to provide support to private sector firms in Sub-Saharan Africa. As a result of the visit, a new NGO, Traidlinks, run by a voluntary board of senior Irish business people and with seven full-time staff, was established.
In the past year Traidlinks has worked with food producers in Uganda, Kenya, and Malawi and with a number of established Irish food businesses to develop a new brand called 'Heart of Africa.' Suppliers for the 'Heart of Africa' brand are paid to ensure that local African firms are profitable and skill exchange programs assist the African companies to process foods according to EU standards. 'Heart of Africa' was created with the pro bono work of the marketing services suppliers for Jacob Fruitfield Food Group, including packaging designers, advertising agencies, and PR firms. Jacob Fruitfield will manage the marketing, sales, and distribution of the brand into its retail customers (who have agreed to stock the product on narrow margins to ensure it has the resources to be fully established). All profits generated by the brand at Jacob Fruitfield are reinvested to support Traidlinks' activities. Following a successful test launch in 2006, the brand was launched nationally in Ireland in May 2007 and is now available in all major grocery retail outlets. Brand support programs including advertising and PR will commence in September 2007. If successful in Ireland, a launch in the UK market will take place in 2008.
There is an opportunity to replicate the 'Heart of Africa' approach in Haiti working with a non-profit ethical organization involved in supporting local mango growers. Plans are now being developed to work with the non-profit organization in Haiti, to provide a similar brand solution and a profitable route to export markets such as the US food sector.