Our journey begun when 3 friends Lilian Mohat, Zakary Njeru and Davis Munene from university came together to set up an investment company to enable them set aside funds for future ventures. The idea was to come up with a project that would grow beyond their lifetime to take care of their future generations.
Coming from different education backgrounds what unified us was our friendship and the desire to change the food production system by growing fruits using permaculture and value adding to the fruits to produce wholesome foods.
We set aside savings every month till the end of 2011 we decided to put up our first pilot plot to grow strawberries. We needed to establish the following: Whether strawberries would grow in Kenya, the right varieties for the region we were at, and the right farming method for scaling and at what price.
Our First Commercial Farm
Having answered most of the above hypothesis, we went ahead and set up the first commercial farm with 5000 seedlings under plasticulture and permaculture farm setup. We started selling our grade 1 strawberries in the Kenyan market.
Zero Food Waste & Zero Food Loss
Several harvests into our farming we realized that the percentage of grade 1 was reducing and more grade 2 fruits were coming out. It is at this point where we made a decision to venture into value addition and preserving. We resolved to manufacture the first high fruit; low sugar fruit preserve in Kenya. To date we have managed to cut down fruit loss and fruit waste by 95%, the 5% of fruits lost are primarily the ones that rot on the shrubs.
Working with other small holder farmers
The market for both our fresh strawberries and fruit preserves grew and we desired to replicate the zero-wastage philosophy to other farmers who were interested in learning about permaculture and plasticulture.
At this point we introduced new varieties namely raspberries, sweet yellow passion fruits and mangoes to our fruit preserves and fresh fruit categories in the markets. We adopted several existing and failing fruit farms in Matuu, Yatta, Syokimau, Naivasha, Kinangop and Limuru. Our agronomists were and still are the ones managing the farming nitty-gritty, while we handle the marketing of the produce.
This has added our pool of fruit farmers to 50, and we are targeting to get 250 small holder farmers by 2025.
The ability of these farmers to fully concentrate in growing using the best practices has enabled them earn a decent living while encouraging more youths to get into farming as a career.
Following a trip to Morocco, we discovered premium yogurt packaged in little glass jars. With more research on the benefits of drinking yogurt and manufacturing techniques, we settled on the traditional Greek yogurt recipe. We also researched on the Masai community’s way of fermenting milk using their amasa culture. We coupled the two methods using 5 fermenting probiotic cultures grown in our factory.
We believe that well-being starts in the gut. Thus, we provide delicious probiotic yogurts and drinks that help support gut health. Each product contains our live cultures as well as billions of our exclusive live & active probiotics. Our Greek yogurt helps consumers improve on their gut health with delicious probiotic products.
With our great taste, new product innovations, and our firm belief that it all starts in the gut—we craft each product to help support your gut health
In 2018, this vision was put to the research and development table and you can now order our Probiotic Greek Yogurt in Kenya.
Fruit Pulp Roll out
Research shows that most yogurt and pastry consumers prefer products with real fruit in them. In 2019, we rolled out the manufacture of fruit pulp preparations to serve our Business to Business philosophy to enable local businesses that need high quality fruit pulp preparations for their yogurts, cakes, ice-creams and smoothies.
VG Food’s Formulated Fruit Preps are custom formulations developed for specific customer products. With several different processing methods; such as aseptic or pasteurization. With a team of skilled product developers, we can produce custom fruit ingredients that meet your color, viscosity, flavor, texture and technical requirements.