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Buyer/Seller Linkage Yields Regional Partnership
September 22, 2010
USAID’s Southern Africa Trade Hub helped Mabeo Furniture secure a consistent supply of high-quality certified wood, saving the company an average of 50% per shipment on input costs.
Peter Mabeo, head of the Botswana’s renowned furniture producing company, Mabeo Furniture, sources high-quality certified wood and save up to 50% on input costs. Mabeo Furniture, located in Gaborone, Botswana, produces high-end contemporary furniture with a strategic focus on craftsmanship and the use of sustainable raw materials.
USAID’s Southern Africa Global Competitive Trade Hub, established in 2002 to create jobs and generate economic development, has been assisting the entrepreneurial Peter Mabeo’s company since 2006, after participation in the International Contemporary Furniture Fair (ICFF) in New York. Since then, the Trade Hub has sponsored him in subsequent shows and has provided various forms of technical assistance in business management and operations. This summer, Mabeo won the ICFF Editor’s Award for best furniture, which has helped him attract more visibility and the opportunity to showcase his product with top designers in the industry.
In keeping with his strategy of obtaining raw materials from sustainable sources, Mabeo wanted to find a consistent supplier of certified wood from responsibly managed forests. With the Trade Hub’s assistance, Mabeo was able to link directly with a supplier of panga panga wood from Mozambique, which has not only helped improve his bottom line, but also fits in with his philosophy of obtaining the highest-quality raw input materials from local sources. By eliminating third-party sourcing agents, Mabeo estimates that this new relationship will reduce his wood input costs by an average of 50%.
Mabeo envisions a mutually beneficial partnership with this supplier, wherein more value-added processes are performed in Mozambique. The arrangement will result in increased jobs for the Mozambican firm and even further cost savings for Mabeo due to the reduced transport weight of semi-processed wood.
Mabeo’s unrelenting focus on creating long-term value is one of the key secrets to his current success.