Expanding Haitian Tea to New Markets

BèlZèb S.A. CEO, Dr. Marie Roberte Laurent at Salon Konsome Lokal.

On November 11, 2017, the USAID Local Enterprise and Value Chain Enhancement (LEVE) Project awarded a partner contribution grant to BèlZèb S.A. The grant will permit the lead firm to acquire new equipment to double their sales of tea products within the next year, expand the production and introduce their tea line to new markets including the United States. With this USAID funding BèlZèb will create more job opportunities and increase their distribution channels nationally.

BèlZèb S.A. sought the assistance of the USAID LEVE Project to support the expansion, quality and efficiency of their production line in order to respond to market demands and increase their sales. The company has grown rapidly in the past three ― with revenues increasing from $87,564 in 2015 to $135,263 in 2016.  Nevertheless, despite high demands, the company’s expansion had been stalling due to limited access to new and improved technologies to process their diverse tea product lines. Much of their machinery was limiting their ability to increase production due to break downs. Unreliable energy sources, limited raw material supplies, time-consuming assembly and packaging processes also limited their efficiency.

With the help of USAID LEVE, they will invest in an automatic quantitative tea bag packaging machine for their tea products ― to help increase their efficiency and quality by reducing human handling of the products. As production is expected to increase by 50% with the new acquisition, BèlZèb will hire 5 new employees and train their staff on how to use the machine. The company will also increase their purchase of raw materials from women farmer associations. Currently 90% of their raw materials are purchased from women farmers in the Kenscoff area. USAID LEVE will also provide technical assistance to help BèlZèb improve their capacity to expand operations and provide additional back-office support to improve their administrative and financial operations.

Established in 2000 by Dr. Marie Roberte Laurent, BèlZèb is a leading aromatherapy and natural herbal cosmetic manufacturer in Port-au-Prince, Haiti. BèlZèb produces six varieties of teas, honey, soaps and body and hair lotions. With the assistance of USAID LEVE, they will increase their investments to double their sales and the farmer microenterprises they source their raw materials from to meet demand. BèlZèb will create five full-time jobs to expand production and increase sales by 50% overseas and 25% locally. They will also promote their product lines to potential clients in the United States to increase their distribution channels within the year.