DOB Equity invests in NEI
DOB Equity, a leading Dutch family-backed impact investor in East Africa, has invested in Natural Extracts Industries (NEI), a natural vanilla flavour manufacturer, based in Moshi, Tanzania.
Since its inception in 2011, NEI has partnered with small-holder farmers by encouraging them to grow vanilla next to their existing crops, thereby providing extra income.
NEI provides training in good agricultural practices for over 5,000 farmers across five regions in Tanzania in vanilla husbandry (following organic principles) and traceability. As a result, farmers have earned up to 50 per cent additional income from vanilla farming.
NEI sources green vanilla pods from these farmers and skilfully manufactures them into unique premium quality vanilla products. The pods are mainly sold to speciality food companies and flavour houses in the global market. This has been instrumental in putting Tanzania on the global vanilla map as seen in November 2019, when the Biennial Vanilla Symposium was held in NEI’s home town, Moshi, Tanzania.
The investment by DOB Equity will facilitate the growth of NEI’s small-holder farmer network. It will also help diversify the company’s sourcing capacity, as well as expanding processing capability. The investment will also aim to increase the overall participation of Tanzania and the broader East African region in the premium quality natural flavour space.
Brigit van Dijk – van de Reijt, CEO of DOB Equity, says: “NEI is one of the most advanced regional processors and extractors of locally grown high-end crops such as vanilla. Through its diversified sourcing platform it can create substantial socio-economic impact for thousands of farmers in Tanzania and positively contribute to influence environmental sustainability.”
Vera Wachira, Investment Associate of DOB Equity, says: “We are excited to invest in NEI and support this sustainable agri-venture. NEI has a great team of industry experts, agronomists and fieldworkers, with strong values on improving the socio-economic strength of the community and conserving the environment.”
Juan Guardado, Founder and CEO of NEI, says: “DOB Equity is a great addition to our already strong group of shareholders. NEI has been growing from strength to strength and we trust that partnering with DOB Equity will help NEI to further boost Tanzania’s potential in the global market for natural flavours’’.