In order to boost and increase its cocoa and coffee sales Balmed signed Trade Finance Agreement with the African Agriculture Trade and Investment Fund. (AATIF) The AATIF is an investment fund backed by the german development bank KfW, the International Labour Organisation (ILO), the Federal Ministry of Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ), the Deutsche Bank as Investment Manager and the Common Fund for Commodities as Technical Assistance Manager. The AATIF public private partnership facility provides various funding sources ranging from loans to equity investment.
In collaboration with the Mobile Empowerment Emerging Markets Research Department of the German based software firm SAP, Balmed is implementing a digital traceability system based on a mobile app, developed by SAP. The app is installed on smartphones, that are used by the Balmed staff to purchase products and track products through the whole supply chain digitally. The system clearly visualizes the operational areas and plantation sizes using GIS mapping. So far Balmed has submitted its masterdata to SAP for syncronisation and app configuration and has tested a first trial version of the app. The 2 year pilot shall „go live“ in the beginning of 2014. The digital product flow allows a exact monitoring of bying processes and gives a detailed overview of the total purchases and sales of the business.
The newly established Moringa Partnership Fund is an international investment vehicle focussing on sustainable agriculture business models. The fund is backed by the swiss based Compagnie Benjamin de Rothschild, a part of the Edmond de Rothschild Group and the French National Forest Office (ONFI) as technical advisor to the fund. The fund manager Martin Poulsen visited Balmed and the cocoa plantations to learn more about Balmed´s Blockfarming system and the Sierra Leonean cocoa sector.
Balmed successfully passed the first round of the 3rd Call for Proposals of the Common Fund for Commodities (CFC). A sitemanager from the Common Fund will be visiting Balmed in January 2014, to see the companies operational structures and discuss further investment options. The Common Fund for Commodities is also the TA (Technical Assistance) Manager of the African Trade and Investment Fund (AATIF). The Balmed Proposal will be presented during the 53rd meeting of the Consultative Committee of the CFC held in Amsterdam.