- The partnership’s key objective is to enable market access for farmers and agribusinesses through the development of cold chain opportunities.
April 03, 2021: Ifria Cold Chain Development Company and InspiraFarms have entered into a regional strategic partnership, combining Ifria’s industry leading cold chain logistics expertise with InspiraFarms’ one-of-a-kind and next-gen on-farm cold chain and food handling technology and solutions.
“The Ifria-InspiraFarms partnership is a powerful combination. We believe this helps push the growth of cold chain and the penetration of sustainable cooling technologies, prioritising the first-mile of distribution of key fresh produce trade markets in Africa and ultimately reducing post-harvest food loss,” Julian Mitchell, InspiraFarms CEO.
The partnership’s key objective is to enable market access for farmers and agribusinesses through the development of cold chain opportunities in West Africa and North Africa regions. This is in order to support the social and environmental impact on reducing food loss in fresh fruit and vegetable supply chains.
“Linking Ifria’s large scale hub assets with the InspiraFarms near farm modular solutions and a true integrated cold chain solution will be transformative for agricultural market systems in our targeted African countries. Together, our partnership will enable farm to market cold chain continuity,” Matthew Meredith, Ifria executive managing director and co-founder.
Ifria and InspiraFarms are partnering following a mutual concern. Over 40 percent of food produce in Africa spoils before it reaches a consumer, approaching 60 percent for fresh produce in Sub Saharan Africa and North Africa according to the state of food and agriculture report, done by the Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO, 2019). This is a result of the lack of cold chain solutions, near farm. The need for integrated and developed cold chain logistics is critical as it reduces crop losses, improves quality, enables agricultural exports, increases farmers & agribusinesses revenues through market access and allows them to be competitive in international markets.
In 2020, Ifria and InspiraFarms started working together to develop and deliver a modular cold chain solution inside the airport of Cotonou, Benin. The airport terminal pineapple cooling facility includes pre-cooling and cold storage, with aggregation, processing, precooling and packing areas, as well with a tarmac-side facility for air pallet management. The facility will reinforce the competitiveness of pineapples in international market.
After this successful experience, Ifria and InspiraFarms decided to continue the collaboration for facilitating access to international standard cold chain solutions to West and North African agricultural markets. Both companies decided to continue to utilise a market system approach to meet the needs of farmers and agribusinesses who do not have access to cold chain solutions and require urgent reduction of post-harvest losses, extend shelf-life and meet international quality standards.