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Natural Ingredients West Africa

  • Duration:
    2012 to 2017
  • Processed Fruit and Vegetables and Edible Nuts, Fresh Fruit and Vegetables, Natural Ingredients for Cosmetics, Spices and Herbs, Oilseeds
  • Shea butter, Dried mango, Cashew nuts, Mango puree, Sesame oil, Sesame seeds, Pepper
  • Senegal, Ghana, Benin, Mali, Burkina Faso

Closed for applications

This programme covers five West African countries: Benin, Burkina Faso, Ghana, Mali and Senegal. Our goal is to help producers and exporters of natural ingredients in these countries to enter the European market. We want to help them establish sustainable trade relations with European importers.

The companies in this programme offer natural ingredients for food, pharmaceuticals and cosmetics. In Europe these industries are very interested in buying natural ingredients. There is a lot of export potential. There is even growing demand in other parts of the world.

Many of the ingredients we are working with are unique to West Africa. This means the companies selling these products can have a strong competitive position on the European market.

Benin, Burkina Faso, Ghana, Mali and Senegal have the potential to produce a lot more of these ingredients than they do now. Export growth will create many more jobs, especially in poorer rural areas. For example, many ingredients are gathered by wild harvesting. This is done mainly by women in rural areas. More export means more work and income for these women.

Project details

The programme began in 2012 and ends in 2017. It has three main parts:

  1. Export coaching for individual companies

    For this part, we first selected a large group of companies in the five countries. We then audited them to find out their strengths and weaknesses. After that we began to train them. For example, we have helped them add value to their products and learn more about export marketing.

  2. A market information programme for business support organisations

    Many of the companies in the programme do not know much about the value chain for natural ingredients, or about the European market. In this part of the programme, we are helping business support organisations to get that knowledge. Then they can share it with exporters.

  3. A supply chain management programme for business support organisations

    The natural ingredients sector in West Africa is poorly connected to international value chains. This means a lot of export opportunities are lost. In this part of the programme, we helping business support organisations to organise the supply chain. This will make supplies and quality levels more reliable. It also means more investments and a better connection with international markets.

Project participants and products

A total of 19 companies are taking part in this programme. Together, they offer a wide range of product groups, such as:

  • Vegetable oils and fats
  • Pharmaceutical plant species
  • Spices and herbs
  • Processed fruit and vegetables
  • Edible nuts
  • Grains
  • Pulses and seeds

Meet the participants

  • You can contact us at CBI to get in touch with these exporters.
  • Another possibility is to meet participants at the next international trade fairs we will attend. Contact CBI for further details.


CBI is working with numerous Business Support Organisations in this programme.

These organisations are facilitating the programme. They are also being trained themselves by CBI. The focus in this training is on European market information and supply chain management. This will these organisations offer more and better export support services. That way the exporters in their countries will be better equipped to do business in Europe.

Get involved as an importer

Are you a European importer interested in natural ingredients from West Africa? If you are, you can contact CBI to find out more or about this programme, or to meet with potential suppliers who have been trained for export to Europe.

Get involved in this project