To guarantee the best quality juice, the fruits needs to be processed direct from the farm, in order to conserve the natural aroma and vitamins. Therefore the american based company Firststep built up a juicefactory within a free economic zone in Sierra Leone. The fairtrade certified production company invests in sustainable agriculture and outplants pineapple plantations in the "backyard" of the company. The pineapples are planted in a circumcircle around the processing plant, to reduce logistics and beware the natural freshness of the fruits. Since july 2012 the farmers in the surrounding areas made agreements with the company to plant pineapples with the Balmed Blockfarming© System. According to the fairtrade standarts the farmer are getting paid a higher price for their agricultural product, when they sell the fruits to the company.
250 acres of new farmland for sustainable pineapple production.
The farmers in the surrounding area agreed to start the pineapple plantations on the selected plots under the Blockfarming© System. In a jointventure with AFC (African Felix Juice) Balmed set up the first plots togehter with the participating farmers, who got supported with tools, trainingsmaterials, and improved pineapple-varieties.