Managing Director Azuri Health Since 2010, Tei Mukunya is the managing director of Azuri Health. The company started as a development procjet where Mukunya accepted a consulting job for Kenyan mango farmers. Shocked by the high losses of mango, Mukunya decided to establish her own company to fight against the food waste.
Only ten years later the little operation in her backyard has become an expanding business with a projected growth of 500%. Before Azuri Health, she was the director at touchstone consultancy services. There she was involved in packaging, standards settings, launching, distribution and marketing. Moreover, she was consulting and training farmers and farmer groups for the Ministry of Agriculture, KARI, SNV, CDTF and former GTZ.
1. Which aspect of the food waste problem is the most relevant for you?
I am concerned with the waste of fresh fruits and vegetables on the farm, in regions in Kenya where there is glut/high season.
2. What do you think is the best way to make improvements in this area?
The best way is to process the excess into products that have a longer shelf life and are still nutritious. Farmers need to have access to these processes so that they can have income for their produce in order that they do not stop growing fruits and vegetables.
3. Can you already discover a positive development in this area?
We at Azuri have established a drying process that absorbs fruits and vegetables during the high season. We offer the dried fruits and flours to the supermarkets under our brand name and are able to pay the farmers consistent prices for the produce. We are establishing drying hubs in these high output regions the second one already up and running.
4. What institutional measures would you like to see in the future?
I would like to see a lot of support in consumer knowledge of nutritious foods and specifically the products we are processing so that there can a greater consumption, allowing more produce to be absorbed.
5. Which role does the Initiative SAVE FOOD play in fighting food losses and food waste in your opinion?
The Save Food Initiative having worked with Azuri to establish the second improved and world class processing hub, as well as contributing to the international design of the Dried Mango pack, is at the forefront of this initiative in Kenya and the roll out of more hubs together with Save Food would institutionalize this process.