In 1998, Nairobi-based Hillside Green Growers & Exporters Ltd. began with a single shipment of mangoes to Dubai. Today, Hillside has blossomed into a steady exporter with a broad product line of fresh fruits and vegetables sold to buyers in the Middle East and Europe. Attainment of key quality certifications and a recent partnership with an NGO supporting SMEs to provide contracted growers with agricultural inputs has allowed Hillside’s CEO, Eunice Mwongera, to scale up and establish new, bigger contracts with customers in Europe. The Middle East market offers smaller volumes but year-round opportunities, while orders for European markets are larger but are concentrated during certain months. Much bigger players in the horticultural export industry already serve the European markets—the question is whether Hillside can contend at the same level among those competitors. Eunice also is giving thought to Kenya’s own domestic market. With increasing urbanization, Nairobi could be a viable opportunity.


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