Sereni Fries 8
Potato season is nearly here. For farmer Walter that means: income. He sells his potatoes to Sereni Fries, who pays him directly thanks to their PlusPlus loan. With this loan of 15,000 euros Sereni can buy potatoes from 125 farmers, like Walter.
- 125 people reached
No middleman, more profit
This is Walter, a potato farmer in Kenya. Since he started working with Sereni Fries he his circumstances have improved. He now sells his potatoes directly to the company, without a middleman, leaving him with a bigger share of the profits. Moreover, Sereni has taught him how to improve his harvest, so he grows more potatoes, with better quality. And there are 2,000 more farmers like Walter, whose incomes have improved thanks to Sereni Fries.
A growing enterprise
Although Humphry Mburu originally worked for a Kenyan bank, it was always his dream to become an entrepreneur. A meeting with one of his clients, a restaurant owner, gave him the idea of catering the growing hospitality industry in Kenya with fresh potato products. In 2012, he started his business and in March 2015, Sereni Fries was officially registered as a limited liability company.
Starting out with a staff of just 2, Sereni Fries Ltd. now has 66 employees. The potato processing company has branches in Nairobi, Mombasa and Nakuru. Sereni buys its potatoes directly from local farmers and processes them into fresh potato products or chips. The fresh potato products are sold to the hospitality industry and the chips to retailers in the metropolitan area of Nairobi, Mombasa and Nakuru. And the market for potatoes in Kenya is still growing.
Better income for more and more farmers
When Sereni applied for its first loan from PlusPlus a year and a half ago, the company purchased potatoes from 500 small-scale farmers in Kenya. Thanks to PlusPlus’ investors, this number has now grown to 2,000 farmers, who have a sustainable income as a result. In Nkuru, Sereni has a storage facility, to store potatoes after harvest so that they are available all year round. For Sereni, this means a stable supply of potatoes all year round, while providing farmers with greater income security.
Climate smart agriculture
Climate resilient and sustainable agriculture are important themes for Sereni Fries. At this moment the company employs several agronomists who support the farmers in growing potatoes. Water shortages, a major climate risk, are reduced by using techniques such as rainwater harvesting, solar irrigation and soil cultivation. Sereni Fries works together with the Dutch development organization SNV for this purpose. As part of the CRAFT project Sereni has been able to hire 6 agronomists. The farmers who receive training from this program are then included in the purchasing network of Sereni.
Purpose of the loan
In July, new potatoes will be harvested. With this 15,000-euro loan, Sereni can purchase new potatoes from 125 farmers. The loan enables Sereni to pay the farmers directly instead of afterwards, after the products have been processed and sold. For the farmers this is better, as it provides them with direct income.
Previous loans via PlusPlus
Sereni Fries has featured on PlusPlus several times before. The reason is that the company is growing and in need of growth capital. Because the amount they need is higher than what PlusPlus can raise in one go, we have divided it into several smaller loans. Sereni Fries has now received seven loans, which they have also repaid on schedule.
In an interview, Humphrey explains how PlusPlus' investors ensured continuity in an uncertain time and even allowed the company to grow. Thanks to their loans, the number of employees grew from 49 to 66, and the number of farmers Sereni buys from has increased from 500 to 2,000 farmers, who now have more income. Sereni was also able to increase the salaries of its employees by 15%.
Mission & vision
Sereni wants to become the main supplier of high quality fresh potato products in Kenya for a fair price.
Thanks to this loan:
- Sereni Fries can purchase more potatoes from 125 additional farmers who will have a better income as a result.
- These farmers will be trained by Sereni in better farming techniques, increasing their harvest.
Humphrey Mburu is the founder and managing director of Sereni Fries. He owns 60% of the company. Before founding Sereni Fries, he worked as an operations manager at Finabank for 6 years. His brother Eric Mburu owns 40% of the company as an investor.
Edwin Kosgei is operations manager at Sereni Fries. He is responsible for potato procurement and quality control. Previously, he worked as an insurance and finance consultant at Mediheal Group of Hospitals, East Africa's largest health institution.
Jecita Warigia Wariu has been working as general manager at Sereni Fries since 2019. She is responsible for the further development of the chips business. Jecita studied biotechnology and worked as shift manager at Kenya Wine Agencies, Kenya's largest wine distributor.
Johnson Mutua Kananda is responsible for marketing and sales, including developing and marketing strategy for the chips industry. He previously worked as a sales manager at Tropical Heat Limited and is pursuing an MBA in marketing.
See also their website http://www.serenifries.co.ke/
While the pandemic initially lead to a reduction in the demand, due to temporary closure of the catering industry, by now the catering industry has reopened and sales of fresh potato products have returned to their previous level. Sales of potato chips through the retail trade have also been increasing since September.
This is a direct loan to a company. It is advisable to be cautious about the size of an investment in this project. For more information about the risks of such an investment, click here.
|Company name||Sereni Fries|
Impact of this project
- With this investment 125 people are reached
About Sereni Fries
About the risks
Read more about the Risks.