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Business Location: Antananarivo, Madagascar
Type: Limited Company
Year of Founding: 2015
Number of Employees: 36, 80% of whom are women
CEO: Hasina Ralay Rabenantoandro
- To support Malagasy farmers by guaranteeing them a sustainable outlet for their production at a fair price
- To fight against food waste
- To create decent jobs and strengthen the employability of women in need
- To promote healthy and organic foodBusiness ModelIn Madagascar, a wide variety of high quality fruit and vegetables are in abundance but the local market does not absorb all of their production in high season, leading to large quantities being wasted. Lycheeland reduces food waste by providing a sustainable outlet for local production while promoting Madagascar’s distinctive produce to the world. Lycheeland dries fresh fruit according to an innovative process of natural dehydration which allows for the preservation of taste and nutritional values, without the need for preservatives.The company started with a single fruit dryer and a yearly drying capacity of 1 tonne. Since its creation, it has increased its production to 30 tonnes of dried fruit per year with five dryers. The company has also grown from three employees to 36.
Today, Lycheeland specialises in the drying and processing of a wide variety of exotic products and superfoods. As an ambassador of fair trade superfood, the company aims to make the atypical and unique resources of Madagascar available to everyone.
Lycheeland is the leading producer of naturally dehydrated tropical products in the Indian Ocean.
Relationship with Smallholders
Lycheeland has developed a sustainable partnership with its suppliers. The company collects fresh fruit and vegetables daily from around 100 small-scale farmers. The raw materials are cultivated in the fertile soils of Madagascar according to traditional conservation agriculture systems that abstain from the use of pesticides or chemical fertilisers.
Lycheeland offers its suppliers a sustainable and stable market for their products and ensures them fair prices. The company supports farmers through providing decent work, with a focus on improving women’s income. The company also offers training and support for farmers to help train them in organic farming, eco-responsible behaviours, good hygiene practices and fair trade.
Lycheeland also supplies intermediate food products, supporting catering professionals and agri-food industries.
Products and Markets
Lycheeland produces a wide range of dried exotic fruits, fruit and vegetable flours and powders. All products are 100% natural, rich in vitamins, minerals and trace elements, with no added sugars or colouring, nor preservative.
Their extensive range of dried fruit, Enriched by nature – Enrichi par nature, includes both conventional and organic products:
- Dried fruits: banana, blackberry, coconut, dragon fruit, guava, jackfruit, jambolana, lemon, mango, pear, persimmon, pineapple, soursop and strawberry
- Organic dried fruits: banana, golden berries, jackfruit, lemon, lychee, papaya, pineapple and rambutanThe company also offers fruit and vegetable flours and powders, such as :
- Flour: breadfruit and jackfruit nut
- Powders: blackberry, green jackfruit, ginger, kaffir lime, pili-pili, plantain, strawberry, turmeric powder
Lycheeland exports 89% of their production in Japan (65%), the European Union (EU) (22%, in particular France, Switzerland, the Netherlands and Germany), as well as Canada (2%). Its products are also sold on the local market (11%).
Lycheeland is HACCP+ and organic certified according to several certification systems (France, EU, USA). Its products are also Kosher certified.
Innovations: Milestones and Expansion Plans
Lycheeland continuously develops its range of nutritious and healthy products, while combating food loss and waste. The company is constantly improving its manufacturing processes to achieve these goals.
The company has developed a drying process during which the fruit are slowly dried at a low temperature and so retain their nutritional and vitamin properties. The end-products have a shelf-life of two years without any preservatives added.
Obtaining the organic food and HAACP certifications were a prerequisite to enter the EU market. Exporting to international markets also required the company to overcome other challenges, including the cost of shipping. To offset these costs, they began to ship their products in containers and to store these in a main centre to then be dispatched throughout the EU.
Upon winning second place in the 2022 Pierre Castel Prize, Lycheeland was awarded a personalised coaching programme and €10,000. The objectives of the company are to use this grant money to open a small laboratory for verifying and assuring the quality and safety of their products. Lycheeland will also use these funds to carry out research and development to further reduce food waste. The drying process developed by the company, which preserves the nutritional properties of the fruit, is costly and so impacts the price of the final products.
As high prices can create a barrier to accessibility for the larger population (of Madagascar), Lycheeland is looking to reduce the costs of preserving highly perishable fresh raw materials and drying. Public-private partnerships are therefore imperative to develop such solutions.
Success Factors and Lessons Learned
Lycheeland takes advantage of the favourable climatic conditions of Madagascar, which offers an exceptional wealth and diversity of fruit to have a positive impact on and support smallholders, the environment and circular economy. The company is committed to reducing food waste by offering its customers healthy and natural snacks that are environmentally friendly produced and contribute to local community development. Lycheeland is contributing to the achievement of several Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs): (1) no poverty, (2) zero hunger, (3) good health and well-being, (5) gender equality, (8) decent work and economic growth, (9) industry, innovation and infrastructure, (12) responsible consumption and production and (17) partnerships for the goals.
Lycheeland has expanded its markets by participating in and exhibiting its products at numerous international food fairs, including the SIAL Paris International Food Fair in 2022.
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