gebana's products may sometimes be a little more expensive than you're used to. There are many complex reasons for this, and they are linked to our costs. Find out how our prices are calculated and how we're reducing them.
More sustainability, more fairness and more quality at affordable prices. This is our promise to you. Living up to this promise is a challenging task.
To achieve greater sustainability and more fairness, we need to maximise our impact at the source – in other words, the positive impact our products create for family farmers, the environment and the local economy. To achieve better quality at the same time is a challenge in and of itself. But it's the affordable prices that often highlight our limitations.
We create a positive impact by investing in local processing. We hire local staff who regularly visit family farmers, train and advise them on organic farming practices and support them in attaining their certifications. In Switzerland, we have specialists who implement projects like the construction of our factory in Burkina Faso or our gebana model, through which family farmers get to share in our revenue.
Then there are the risks we take. Nowadays, you'd be hard pressed to find a company willing to build a factory in a country like Burkina Faso if it wanted to be profitable. The country is politically unstable – a military coup took place just this past January. It is also one of the poorest countries in the world. And there is a price to pay for having offices in and investing in these countries, both directly and potentially. The direct price includes things like high interest rates on loans. The threat of the country collapsing, a revolution or some other unforeseen impediment to doing business all represent the potential price.
We do all this with the aim of ensuring that our products create as much of an impact as possible while also taking costs into account. Because creating a positive impact doesn't always have to be expensive. In fact, quite the opposite is true. For example, by shipping our fresh pineapples rather than sending them by airfreight – the flight costs substantially more than shipping. Or by purchasing directly from family farmers. These steps increase the impact without creating any additional costs. Or even reduce costs.
High-quality products are expensive. After all, a lot of work goes into producing them. Sometimes they're even made entirely by hand, or they are made from varieties that offer outstanding flavour but produce only limited yields.
But higher quality can also come at a lower price. Understanding this is the key to delivering on our promise. It is also part of the reason why, since 2020, we have done away with meaningless standards like size, colour or shape when it comes to our fresh oranges. This decision means we get a greater variety, and the farmers earn significantly more, all for the same price as before. Bulk packages are another example. They make it possible to offer high quality at lower prices as less packaging is required and the products don't have to be repackaged multiple times.
Whether we're talking about impact, quality or price, the fact is that gebana is a small company. This reality and the associated inefficiency are the two biggest limitations our business faces today. As a result, everything we do is expensive. Which in turn prevents us from offering you products at the prices we'd like to. And it prevents us from creating an even greater impact.
We want to overcome these limitations. We want to attract new customers, to grow, to become more efficient, to improve our organisation and thereby improve our profitability. And if we get it right, we'll benefit from economies of scale and generate more profit, which we'll use to drop our prices as much as we possibly can. But never at the expense of our impact. On the contrary, we must grow our impact at the same time.
Thanks to our growth over the past 2 years, we have already made strides towards delivering on our promise and have shared our profits with you twice in the form of a discount. This year, we're taking it a step further and reducing our prices long-term. In Switzerland, we're starting with our cashews and cashew products, as well as other products. In February 2022, we already dropped the prices of a number of products for the EU. And as soon as we're able to, we plan to do more.
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Smallholders and local producers harvest and refine products of extraordinary quality worldwide. But for many of these producers there is no adequate or stable market. You can buy directly from these producers via the Access to Market Platform and help them to participate in the market. The principle behind this is crowd ordering – a new trade model whereby a number of consumers order a product together so as to achieve a minimum order quantity. We at gebana support the producers with our know-how, and organise the logistics.
Enable someone to make their first export with your order. Please note: Unexpected events often lead to delays, and you may find that the quality is not yet perfect. For this reason, your feedback is absolutely essential. The export experience and your feedback are important steps for the producers towards accessing the market. As a customer, you are witness to the whole process, playing your part in pioneering work.
You can order from these producers simply and directly. You receive your product as soon as the minimum order quantity has been reached and the products are ready. The risk for you is minimal, since the producers already have a product that is ready for market. This sales channel is beneficial to both the producers and the consumers, since it cuts out the middle man.
Be part of the development of supply chains and support innovation! Some of the ways you can do this include testing new products, giving feedback, or financially supporting the producers in their next steps. In doing so, you will be able to see for yourself how the products and supply chains develop.
This is where you can see all the completed projects on the Access to Market Platform at a glance. You can find out where products are now available from or whether the producers are still seeking a trade partner.