East Africa Fruits, an innovative social enterprise that supports smallholder farmers in Tanzania through the trade and marketing of fresh produce and grains, has recently been named a Certified B Corporation.
The company joins a global community of almost 3,000 businesses working in 150 industries in more than 60 countries for this prestigious recognition.
Certified B Corporations are businesses that meet the highest standards of verified social and environmental performance, public transparency, and legal accountability to balance profit and purpose.
As consumers increasingly demand that businesses use their influence as a force for good, Certified B Corporations are at the forefront of purpose-driven entities that are finding sustainable solutions to some of the world’s most pressing problems and redefining financial success in the global economy.
“Earning B Corp status is such a distinctive honor for our team,” said Elia Timotheo, Founder and Managing Director of East Africa Fruits. “As a former field representative with the Tanzania Ministry of Agriculture, I am passionate about strengthening the communities of smallholder farmers in these communities through better production, processing, and distribution of produce throughout the region.”
East Africa Fruits is a portfolio company of Beyond Capital, an impact investment fund that invests in seed-stage social enterprises that are marrying money with meaning to build a more inclusive economy.
Beyond Capital invested in East Africa Fruits in 2017, inspired by the enterprise’s measurable impact on the income of its client base and its communities. More than 1,180 smallholder farmers in Tanzania have increased incomes each year thanks to the efforts of East Africa Fruits.
Beyond Capital is an impact investment fund that invests in for-profit social enterprises throughout India and East Africa. The fund invests in businesses that are focused on greater access to health care, water, sanitation, and energy, as well as food security and financial inclusion, which can increase the quality of life and standard of living for consumers living at the bottom of the economic pyramid.
Though the fund seeks market-rate financial returns, Beyond Capital is structured as a nonprofit, which permits the organization to emphasize fidelity to its social mission alongside its financial mandate.
“Elia and the team at East Africa Fruits impressed us immediately with their intentional and actionable plans to significantly reduce post-harvest losses through cold-chain logistics and produce value addition,” said Eva Yazhari, Co-Founder and CEO of Beyond Capital. “Being recognized as a Certified B Corporation further solidifies the enterprise’s clear mission of not only bolstering smallholder farmers’ incomes but by furthering the reach of their nutritious products throughout the region.”