Gustav Dessogom Bakoundah is a committed and recognised entrepreneur. He is the founder and director of Label d’Or, a company founded in 2012.

Previously, he trained organic pineapple producers in production rules and has been developing the export of Togolese tropical fruits with his partners in France since 2008. Gustav is the President of the Board of Directors of the fruit juice processing plant, Jus Délice. He is also President of the National Association of Soybean Exporters (Association Nationale des Commerçants Exportateurs de Soja, ANCES) and the first President of the Interprofessional Council of the Soybean Sector of Togo (Conseil Interprofessionnel de la Filière du Soja du Togo, CIFS).

Gustav was made an Officer of the Order of Mono (the highest Togolese order of chivalry) and received the National Order of Agricultural Merit in Togo. He was also awarded the medal of Knight of the Order of Agricultural Merit of the French Republic in 2021, which rewards his career and the scope of his projects uniting producers around organic practices. Gustav has a particular interest in collegiality and makes most decisions about Label d’Or within a team. The company has a Management Committee of five5 company executives, meeting monthly to discuss and set the company’s priorities and objectives.

Gustav Dessogom Bakoundah

CEO, Label d'Or

Business Location: Lomé, Togo

Type: Limited Liability Company
Year of Founding: 2012
Number of Staff: 72 including 64 internal control technicians
CEO: Gustav Dessogom Bakoundah

Business Model

Label d’Or operates with a “social-profit” approach: the company trains producers on organic standards, helps them to organise themselves competitively, and buys their products at fair prices. Label d’Or supports farmers in their projects and promotes innovation through experimentation and research.

Created in 2012, the Label d’Or company is structured around various agricultural activities supporting organic farming. It supports sustainable and responsible agriculture and promotes economic, social and environmental impacts, aiming at enabling people to undertake agricultural activities and live in dignity. The company specialises in organic production, processing and export of organic products. It is currently developing 14 organic agricultural chains of fruit and vegetables, oilseeds and oils.

Label d’Or is a pioneering Togolese company in its support of agricultural sectors throughout the value chain (production, processing, export). Its field of action covers all regions of the country.

Products such as soya beans, pineapple, papaya, mango, fonio, sunflower, shea kernel and West Indian chilli are mainly destined for export to the European Union, especially to France, Italy, Belgium and the Netherlands in recent years. Despite the Covid-19 health crisis, the company exported several thousand tons of organic agricultural products in 2020.

Strong Relationships with Smallholders

Label d’Or has a close contractual relationship with its Togolese producers. The company provides them with access to quality seeds, and supports its producers in developing new skills, particularly by introducing them to organic farming techniques. In addition, the company encourages and supports them to organise into cooperatives.

Label d’Or works with more than 10,000 Togolese producers on about 15 products. The company obtained organic certification for 9,879 hectares in 2020. Label d’Or is a relatively young company: the entire team has an average age of 32 years, and focuses its actions particularly on young people and women. For example, it mobilises 5,800 women in the shea butter sector.

Products and Markets

Label d’Or produces many fruits, vegetables and oilseeds, including soya, fonio, sunflower, shea, pineapple, papaya, avocado, turmeric and ginger.
The company also processes products such as pineapple into fresh fruit juice and shea butter.

Label d’Or is committed to developing full traceability of its products and offering a unique range of services, adapted to the needs of small producers, and strengthening their position on the market. In particular, the company supports the organisation of producers into cooperatives and producer unions, as well as the organisation and development of organic channels according to market needs. The company also offers training in organic farming, audits and certification, etc.

In order to develop the organic farming sectors, Label d’Or is committed to :
• raising awareness of organic farming among producers,
• promoting organic sectors (especially oilseeds and spices) to producers and the administration,
• training technicians in organic farming standards,
• developing the whole range of activities, including the production of compost and the mechanisation of tools,
• givinge producers access to finance,
• conducting research and studies on promising sectors.

Label d’Or’s production and processed products are certified organic, notably by Cérès GmbH and Ecocert SA.

Innovations: Milestones and Expansion Plans

Label d’Or’s fruit juice processing activity was optimised in 2019 with the creation of the Jus Délice plant. This is the first modern organic fruit juice and purée processing plant in Togo. The fully automated plant meets international standards (in terms of product quality, safety and environmental protection), making it possible to export the juice and purée to manufacturers all over the world. Its creation is the result of a collaboration between actors in the sector in Togo, particularly Label d’Or and its Director Gustav Bakoundah, President of the Board of Directors of Jus Délice; the Moringa Fund, the principal financier; professionals from the French private sector; and the German Federal Ministry of Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ) to support the supervision of producers through its develoPPP programme. The Jus Délice processing plant benefits from the status of a free zone company, allowing it to export its production under advantageous tax and customs conditions.

Currently, Label d’Or is investing in the consolidation of the entire organic pineapple value chain (production, processing, recycling etc.). The company is also working on the development of other value chains, in particular on projects aiming to produce at least 2,000 tons each of shea butter and soya butter respectively by 2023.

Success Factors and Lessons Learned

To promote biodiversity and sustainable, eco-responsible production, Label d’Or is committed to devoting 0.25% of its plots to trees. In addition, pineapple waste and peelings from the Jus Délice plant (approximately 2,500 tons in 2020) are processed into compost.

In November 2021, Label d’Or was recognised for its excellence and continuous improvement at the 32nd International World Quality Commitment (WQC) Convention in Paris 2021 by when it received the (WQC) award. The award was given following an analysis of the company’s skills and qualities by a jury from over 90 countries, marking the first win by a Togolese private sector company.

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