Goshen Farm Exporters Limited was established in 2010. This social enterprise is actively providing resilient and sustainable markets to smallholder farmers in Kenya. The company works with thousands of smallholder farmers in Lower Eastern and Coastal regions of Kenya.
Founded as a fresh produce export company, the initial years of the company were focused on exporting fresh fruits and vegetables to markets in the EU and Middle East. In order to find a more sustainable business model, Goshen Farm Exporters Limited established a value-added products division where it focuses on purchasing fruits from farmers, while saving them from market glut which are processed into premium healthy dried natural fruit snacks.
Goshen Farm Exporters is a woman founded and majority owned enterprise. The owner has a background in Business Administration. The founder resigned from a Western Kenya based NGO that provided water to communities to venture into entrepreneurship where she became a mango and orange farmer. At that time, she realized that during the high season a lot of the produce goes to waste because there is too much supply for the market. That is why she started Goshen Farm Exporters, to help link farmers from her local community in Lower Eastern Kenya to the markets.
The successor CEO is her co- founder and son, Alex Muli (1987) a Global Executive Master of Business Administration graduate at United States International University in Kenya. He is also an African Development Bank (AFDB) 2019 Africa Young Agripreneurs Forum overall winner. Alex also has a post graduate certificate in Business Development and Management through Innovation from Frankfurt School of Finance and Management, 2016. He is a 2020 Alibaba Business School E-founders fellowship Graduate. He was recently also part of the O-farms Accelerator Program; the first in Africa that focuses on Agri-circularity.
The Lower Eastern Kenya and Coastal Kenya areas are semi-arid regions characterized by serial rain failure. This makes it difficult for farmers to grow Kenyan staples like Maize and Beans. Thus no need to downplay the role played by tropical fruits which are alternatives and suitable crops for the regions hence giving farmers resilience.
The increased focus on value addition results in higher volumes that farmers can offload into the market. This guarantees them a stable market while still enjoying access to free extension services, arrangements for input issuance on credit and trainings, including and not limited to Climate Smart Technology dissemination, good agricultural practices, Gender Action Learning Systems and small business skills trainings.
Goshen Farm has several crucial certifications. It has a valid trading export licence issued by the Horticultural Crops Directorate. Besides that, the company has also been certified by the Kenya Bureau of Standards which validates it to trade in its Fruitee local retail brand. The company is also organically certified for export EU, USDA/NOP and JAS of avocados and is finalizing a certification for tropical dried fruit for the three authorities too. The British Retail Consortium (BRC) packhouse certification and organic certification have been acquired.
The company is seeking to become Eastern Africa’s leading dried fruit exporter. This will be achieved by completion of its new, 9000 metric tonne’s capacity per annum state-of-the-art processing factory warehouse to process dried fruit for export to its buyers in the EU. The company is in negotiation with various buyers to sign exclusive rights. Completion of this facility is expected end of June 2023.
Apart from up-cycling fruits into value-added products, the company is operating a biogas system to make its production and energy source more sustainable and is setting up a BSF farm to convert the fruit waste into organic fertilizer.