Trade Success No.13: Bristol Enterprises Limited - The EPA accompanying the revival of the Seychelles' cinnamon industry by enhancing its competitiveness on the EU markets
The Seychelles has a long history with cinnamon and the plantation industry, which was once the pillar and backbone of its economy. The spice was first introduced to the islands in 1772 by Pierre Poivre, a French naturalist. The Mynah birds which fed on the seeds of the cinnamon propagated the cinnamon seeds all over the hills of Mahe. The plant is today considered as an invasive species as it can be seen all over the island nation.
Locally, cinnamon has a firm place in the Seychellois gastronomy. A coconut milk curry is not considered a proper curry without the aromatic cinnamon leaves.
The Seychelles exported its first cargo of 740,123 kilos of cinnamon to the European Union (Germany) in 1908; one year later 946,194 kilos of cinnamon were exported.
Bristol Enterprises Limited is one of the major exporter of organic cinnamon from the Seychelles. Their cinnamon is of the type cinnamomum verum, also known as true cinnamon tree or Ceylon cinnamon tree.
Key facts about Bristol Enterprises Limited:
- Founded in 2010
- Based at Grand Anse, Mahé
- From 2010 to 2012 (before implementation of the iEPA): 37 tons of cinnamon exported to the EU (approx. average of 12.3 tons a year)
- From 2013 to 2021 (after the iEPA implementation): 274 tons of cinnamon exported to the EU (approx. average 30.4 tons per year)
- 90% of its exports goes to Germany
Bristol Enterprises Limited specialises in the production of cinnamon spices, essential oils, coconut based products and barbecue charcoal. It is the only company reviving all three of the Seychelles traditional industries of cinnamon, cinnamon bark incense, coconuts and essential oils. The company trades under the brandname Tropeko for all coconut related products and Globarom for its other products. The essential oils and cinnamon spices produced are exported to the European Union and to the United Kingdom.
The cinnamon is grown naturally in the wild without agrochemicals and pesticides. Bristol Enterprises Limited cinnamon exported to the EU are certified as organic.
Over the years, the company has made ongoing improvements on products qualities, services deliveries, exceptional care for customers, employees and the environment. In the future, its ultimate goal is to progress in the field of value added cosmetics and pharmaceutical products with a regional and continental expansion.
Main achievements over the years:
- 3 employees at creation and 16 prior to the covid-19 pandemic (resized to 6 today)
- Made significant contributions to policy changes in favour of the industry
- Improved standards in line with the EU legislations and standards requirements
- The company represented the Seychelles private sector in the First China - Africa Economic and Trade Expo of 2019
- The Founder and CEO of the company was awarded the 2019 Entrepreneur of the Year by the Seychelles Chamber of Commerce and Industry (SCCI)
How did the EPA help?
The Founder and CEO of Globarom, Mr Mustafa Harun Bristol is well acquainted to the Economic Partnership Agreement (EPA) as he was part of the negotiating team representing the Seychelles private sector in the past.
According to him, the EPA between the EU and the ESA5 countries including the Seychelles has enabled the organic cinnamon of Globarom to reach the EU markets duty free, tariff free and quota free.
He also listed the below benefits directly resulting from the EPA:
- It has made their products more competitive on the EU markets. More buyers/importers have shown interests in their products as they also benefit from clearing the goods without paying any tariffs/duty;
- They have managed to get a better price for their products on the EU markets;
- Their volume and value of export have increased;
- Their factory has expanded, creating more employment opportunities;
- Since they were able to offer better prices, it has also increased their supplier base of raw materials from 5 harvesters to 60+ harvesters before the covid pandemic;
- The standards of their operations have improved in line with the EU legislations and standards requirements;
- The Seychelles economy has also benefited from valuable foreign exchange earnings.
He foresees many more potentials for growth and additional benefits with the EPA.
" .. the EPA has enabled our organic cinnamon to reach the EU markets duty free, tariff free and quota free and has made our products more competitive on the EU markets "
Bristol Enterprises Ltd T/A Globarom
Mr Mustafa Harun Bristol, Founder and CEO