In March 2019, MCE made a debt investment of US$385,000 in Sierra Agra, a for-profit agribusiness in Sierra Leone. Sierra Agra’s business model achieves two main goals, (1) to improve the livelihoods of smallholder farmers by providing stable income and technical assistance that increases farm productivity; and (2) to strengthen the mango value chain, by processing these mangoes into a commercial product that can be sold locally and internationally.
Not only does Sierra Agra provide stable commercial income to smallholder farmers, the company is building the mango production sector in Sierra Leone. The economic potential of indigenous fruit has been largely untapped.—Elisabeth Chasia, MCE Portfolio Manager
Sierra Agra is excited to announce the recent expansion of funding by MCE Social Capital for the advancement of the DOYPACKⓇ Juice Pouch Line. The Doypack was invented in 1962 as a packaging for fruit juice and olives, by the French inventor Louis Doyen, president of Thimonnier Company. The trademark "Doypack" (from DOYen PACKaging) is filed internationally and is owned by Louis Doyen. A ‘Doypack’ is a sealed plastic bag that is designed to stand upright. Doypacks are commonly used for ready-to-drink beverages.
Sierra Agra’s Juice Pouch Line will include production of an Organic Mango Juice, Organic Coconut Water, and a Healthy Tasty Mango Smoothie. These products will be packaged in DOYPACKⓇ’s popular, soft and stable container including a large printing surface (on both sides) to allows for company design. MCE’s funding advancement will finance equipment for the installation, proposed for Q2 2019, in collaboration with Tropical Food Machinery. The juice processing line is capable of producing approximately 400,000 250mL pouches per month.
MCE Social Capital is confident about Sierra Agra’s working capital levels. MCE’s investment could be disbursed in tranches according to TFM's manufacturing schedule, while keeping combined exposure no higher than US$500K, until the working capital loan is repaid in full. As a precursor to the approval for a capex loan, Sierra Agra will advance on the addition of a CFO/Controller who is responsible for financial management and undergo a formal audit.
To stabilize factory utilization and employment throughout the year,
Ability to reallocate end product production and mitigate impact from global market price flux,
Increase cash flow both in dollars and in local currency through export and distribution through domestic market,
Raise profit margin selling finished product with our own beverage brand,
Ability to respond to actual demand for juice now imported from abroad with Sierra Leone production,
Develop a unique product with potential to bring to market a meal replacement beverage and partnership with USDA, Catholic Relief Service, World Food Program, Sierra Leone Government and other countries in West Africa,
And potential to launch a global PR campaign connecting Sierra Agra’s business directly with consumers.