From Uncertainty to Success – A Chili Sauce Processor’s Story
John Angelo is an energetic 32-year-old man from Iringa who has been utilizing the support from Feed the Future Tanzania Mboga na Matunda (FTFT-MnM) to follow his dream of expanding his small food processing operation into a growing, profitable business.
Angelo worked as a loan officer in a local credit and lending microfinance companies until late 2017 when he decided to venture into establishing his own food processing enterprise. His business, Ilula Natural Chili Sauce, was born in the backyard of his home compound. Angelo attended a week-long training on food processing offered by Small Industries Development Organisation (SIDO) in Dar es Salaam. Equipped with the practical knowledge and skills that he received from the training, he returned to Iringa and started producing chili sauce.
However, Angelo faced initial difficulties, suffering a number of losses in the process of creating the initial batches of chili sauce. Recalling a batch he made in March 2018, the young entrepreneur said he was about to give up after a net loss of $54. Angelo had made 427 bottles of chili sauce that cost $241 to produce and only earned him $187 in returns. This loss was a result of lack of knowledge and experience in food processing.
However, in April 2018, FTFT-MnM intervened to help Angelo’s business. Having received the FTFT-MnM invitation to attend the training on food processing and parameters; proper ingredients application; recipes; and food preservation methods and procedures, he was now confident in his endeavor.
Soon after putting into practice what he had learned, Angelo saw a resulting improvement in production. He is now able to produce up to 1,152 bottles, selling at wholesale price of USD 0.4 per bottle earning him around USD 299 net profit per month. Furthermore, the shelf life of his products has also improved from less than a month to 6 months.
"My sincere appreciation goes to MnM team for their trainings which helped me to improve my production and doubled my income,” said Angelo.
It should be known that before seeing these positive results, Angelo’s business was not recognizable and registered by Tanzania Food and Drugs Authority (TFDA). Following the FTFT-MnM trainings and his resulting success, he became courageous and decided to apply for a TFDA certificate. Angelo secured his business certificate from TFDA in August 2018.
Currently, Angelo is developing plans to expand his enterprise by adding a new product (tomato sauce) to his line of production. He is looking forward to expanding from a micro- to a medium-sized food processing industry at the beginning of 2019.
FTFT-MnM builds the capacity of stakeholders in the value chain including small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs). Together with its partners, FTFT-MnM facilitates training interventions, unveiling opportunities that support market expansion of horticultural products and creating job opportunities. As a result, a total of 48 processing entities (34 being individual processors) have benefited from FTFT-MnM activities.