Profit-making idea: Packaging materials for Ethiopia’s horticulture industry

How we made it in Africa asked Jacie Jones, managing director of Perennial Foods Group, an agribusiness company operating in Ethiopia, to identify an untapped business opportunity in Africa. Here was her response:

“In general, there is a tremendous opportunity for import substitution in Ethiopia, as an extensive list of goods are brought in from abroad. In our sector, a great example of this is packaging. With a growing horticulture industry, there is a captive market of countless companies that currently import all of their packaging (boxes, liners, bags and punnets). With quality local suppliers, Ethiopian companies could avoid using precious foreign currency and could meaningfully reduce the carbon footprint of their packaging.

“If a company in Ethiopia were to specialise in environmentally innovative packaging, there could also be interesting opportunities to export, given that sustainable packaging options are extremely limited across the continent and still fairly nascent across the world, despite growing demand from global consumers.”