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Business Location: Bamako International
Type: Limited Liability Company
Year of Founding: 1997
Number of Employees: 20 full-time
CEO: Moussa Silvain Diakité
SCS International is a fresh mango production and export company established in Mali in 1997, with a packing centre in Sikasso and a packing line in Bamako, where fresh mangoes are packed manually.
Since its creation, SCS International has diversified its activities, notably since 2010 by importing fruit, vegetables and meat to Mali and the sub-region, to Gabon among others, from the Netherlands, France and South Africa. SCS International has also developed two subsidiaries. SCS FF PRODUCTION is an industrial orchard in the Kamalé area to increase the mango yield (Kent variety) and to grow secondary crops such as cabbage and okra. SCS MALIENNE DE CARTONNERIE industrially produces cardboard and related products.
Strong Relationship with Smallholders
The fresh mango producers who supply SCS International are monitored and technically supported by a quality control and certification team (GlobalG.A.P.; Business Social Compliance Initiative, BSCI; organic farming), particularly for the maintenance of their orchards.
In addition, harvesters are trained in modern harvesting techniques to minimise losses. Producers and harvesters work under contracts with SCS International, which provides them with a fixed source of income.
SCS International sources fresh mangoes from a dozen farmers’ organisations comprising 1100 producers in 46 villages, including 500 certified producers and 660 market gardeners.
Products Covered and Markets
SCS International is internationally recognised for its exported fruit, which fully meets the requirements and quality standards for access to export markets. SCS exports 2000 tonnes of mango per year from two packing stations in Bamako and Sikasso. The company has entered the niche market of fresh ready-to-eat mango, which is distributed in supermarkets (including Carrefour, Albert Heijn, Lidl and Tesco).
SCS International packages and exports fresh mangoes and other fruit and vegetables, and imports fruit, vegetables and meat. Its subsidiary SCS FF PRODUCTION grows mangoes and secondary crops, and its subsidiary SCS MALIENNE DE CARTONNERIE produces cardboard.
SCS International produces and markets fresh mangoes under three different brands. The generic brand is called MALI MANGO and is complemented by the second generic brand EURAFRIQUE and the brand SOLEIL DU MALI, which is exclusively intended for the Dutch market. Fresh mangoes are exported to the African sub-region (Gabon, Morocco, etc.) and to Europe (Netherlands, France, Belgium, United Kingdom, Spain, Germany.)
SCS International packages and exports fresh mangoes and other fruit and vegetables, and imports fruit, vegetables and meat. Its subsidiary SCS FF PRODUCTION grows mangoes and secondary crops and the subsidiary SCS MALIENNE DE CARTONNERIE produces cardboard.
SCS International is currently developing livestock activities (poultry, cattle, fish farming) as well as solar energy production. The company also wants to set up shops in Bamako to sell its products directly.
Innovations: Milestones and Expansion Plans
SCS International’s exports are facilitated by an adequate logistical network for the transport of products from the packing station to the ports of Dakar and Abidjan. In addition, the company has developed a traceability system that allows its customers to access information about the fruit, its origin, conditions and transportation from the orchard.
Since 2020, SCS International has also benefited from a higher yield in mango production with the development of a modern 50-ha orchard with a yield of 25 to 40 T/ha compared to 5 to 10 T/ha in traditional orchards. This industrial orchard was created within the 2SCALE project initiated by the International Fertilizer Development Center (IFDC).
In 2020, the Sikasso mango packing unit was renovated and equipped with a pre-cooling system to increase the volume of mangoes processed by this unit.
SCS International has also set up a cardboard factory to overcome its difficulties in sourcing cardboard packaging due to the lack of production in Mali and the need to import from Senegal, Côte d’Ivoire, Europe and Asia. Since the end of 2020, SCS International has been producing fruit trays for packaging, transporting and storing fruit and vegetables, as well as bottom and top flap cartons, kraft paper bags and rolls to protect products during transport. The cartons are intended for the export of mangoes but are also sold on the domestic and regional markets (Burkina Faso, Niger, Guinea, etc.), for example to cement companies. The factory was financed half by the West African Development Bank, in addition to investments by local banks (Banque Nationale de Développement Agricole, Banque Internationale pour le Mali) and a German bank (KFW DEG), as well as a personal contribution.
SCS International works with the World Bank, as well as with FAIR FRUIT, CBI (the Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs’ Centre for the Promotion of Imports from developing countries) and COLEACP.
SCS International has received support from COLEACP including technical assistance and individual training on implementing a quality management system (GlobalG.A.P.), on social production systems (BSCI and GLOBALG.A.P. Risk Assessment on Social Practice, GRASP), COLEACP’s self-assessment tool, as well as group training on commercial negotiation, management of packaging stations, modern orchard management, commercial quality of exported mangoes, and good harvest and post-harvest practices, among others.
Success Factors and Lesson Learned:
SCS International maintains long-lasting and trusting relationships with its partners along the value chain. The company supports its producers, trains its staff, and has long-term contracts with its suppliers. In addition, SCS regularly exchanges with its clients and technical and financial partners, and actively participates in Mali’s mango interprofessional association.
SCS International is also active in the community life of its production areas and contributes to improving the living conditions of rural populations, in particular by facilitating access to water and sustainable energy.
There are many business opportunities in the West African intra-regional zone, as 70–80% of fresh fruit and vegetables are imported. Mali has the production potential to meet this demand for the local market and for neighbouring countries (Mauritania, Niger, Côte d’Ivoire, etc.). However, many constraints need to be overcome through long-term investments and strategies, notably a lack of infrastructure requiring investment in cold rooms and production equipment; high transport costs and entry fees to regional markets directly affecting competitiveness; and poor organisation of markets and prices (low prices, low competitiveness).
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