Morula also known as Marula is one such Orphan Crop. We are a food manufacturer that has formed symbiotic relationships with Morula oil companies and local farmers. We upcycle the fruit pulp that is typically underutilized, the processors press the seed to get seed oil and then they sell the oil to cosmetic companies, and thus Green jobs are created in rural communities.
We help to complete a value chain for two budding industries by upcycling the fruit pulp that would ordinarily be underutilized into Award-Winning, Handcrafted, Nutritious preserves and sauces that have Unique flavor profiles. We are more than a jam or sauce. We are a food company that makes real food. We are a brand that is participating in the birth of an industry. Our culture is represented in our flavors as well as our packaging where we drape our bottles in letaise (traditional print cloth). As we always say, Maungo Craft puts Culture in a Bottle!
Our story begins with a stolen pot and a giant wooden spoon. It was Morula Season and the fruit was rotting everywhere because it was being underutilized. The community viewed the fruit as a nuisance that attracted baboons (they love the fruit) and rodents. This inspired us to make our very first Morula Jam for our very first Farmer’s Market in 2017.
We “liberated” a pot and spoon from Olayemi’s father and began our journey of discovery. It was on this journey that we learned that it takes approximately 300 tonnes of Morula fruit pulp to get 12 tonnes of Morula Cosmetic oil. With no major user of the fruit by-product in Botswana we asked ourselves, “What happens to all that fruit?” This question alone set the founders on an adventure of a lifetime!
Started by a group of friends, Ms. Bonolo Monthe is the Managing Director/ Co-founder and Mr. Olayemi Aganga is the Head of Production/Co-founder. We started the company because we saw an opportunity around upcycling the fruit and we believed we could turn it into something magical. We believe that the natural and indigenous sector has the potential to become a major industry that will create jobs and diversify the economy of Botswana.
We make Artisinal, Award-Winning, Reduced Sugar Preserves and Sauce that are Natural and Handcrafted. We only use natural preservatives (thank goodness!) and use indigenous foods such as Morula and Baobab then we pair them with contemporary flavors giving you the most unique flavor profiles. Some of our award winning, unique flavor profiles include:
• Smoked Morula, Chilli & Ginger Jam
• Beetroot, Onion and Baobab Jam
• Roasted Chilli Garlic & Morula Hot Sauce
• Morula, Lemon & Vanilla Jam
We like pushing the boundaries with food innovation. We play and fuse culture and food together and are really good at it! We are the only company with our flavors and they take you on a culinary joyride! We also love that we get to work with suppliers that extract Morula oil and Maungo Craft helps to SAVE THE FRUIT and upcycles the underutilized fruits. By working with seed oil producers we are helping them to create over 1000 harvester jobs down the value chain that are mainly women. Our business model is as much about climate adaptation as it is about making high-quality foods. For our participation in the industry we have been recognized as UN Food systems
Maungo Craft is Fairtrade Certified and we have Won 13 Awards both locally, regionally, and internationally, some of which include winning the Youth Expo (2017), being shortlisted to the Top 7 and being awarded a Gold at the World Marmalades Award (UK) (2018). At The Global Expo we were Awarded Two Gold Exhibitor Awards. The first was the Botswana Pride Award and the second was the BoFINET SMME Innovation Award (2018). In both, the judges stressed our creativity and how we embody Botswana as a Brand. In 2019 we won the Pan-African GoGettaz Agri-preneurship competition. Finals were held in Accra, Ghana and Maungo Craft won the prize after competing against 3,000 African businesses.
In 2020 we received (2) Two Great Taste Awards from the Guild of Fine Foods in the UK (2020). The Great Taste Awards are like the “Oscars of food” and very highly esteemed and we were the first company in Botswana to bring them home.
Maungo Craft has been featured in several local newspapers and radio segments over the years. We were also on the Front Cover of Botswana Investor Magazine (2017), featured on CNBC Africa (2018), Voice of America (2018), shortlisted and featured by Specialty Food Magazine in the United Kingdom for the New Producer Awards! Specialty Food Magazine is the UK’s largest circulated fine food trade magazine. We have also been profiled on “In Business Africa” on the BBC where our business was celebrated and showcased for its creativity and for youth in business.
We have been endorsed by Martha Stewart, an Iconic, Household Food Celebrity. Maungo Craft has also curated and supplied major companies in Botswana with lovely corporate gifts.
When we were awarded a Gold by The Great Taste Awards for one of the products, one of the judges made this comment:
“We were intrigued by this product and we had not come across it before. The wonderful aroma was enticing and the consistency was perfect for spreading. We wondered what the strands were and were delighted to discover thinly sliced peel. What a delicious jam – hints of citrus and sweet fruit merged in the mouth to make a brilliant flavour.”
Vision for the future
To support the growth of two industries – Food and Cosmetics through the use of indigenous foods. To create jobs and participate in the diversification of the economy of Botswana. We are currently expanding our footprint in Botswana and are already available in large retailers such as Trans Africa, FOURS, Payless, Square Mart, Pick n Pay and Sefalana. We supply hotels and restaurants as well and are currently working on our export strategy. Watch this space we will be exporting to the USA and will be available on Amazon in the last quarter of 2021. We are excited and look forward to expanding and taking our brand to the rest of the world. World here we come!