Nutrition Support that Goes Beyond BordersJuly 21, 2020
CESO Advisors are committed to sustainable results for the partners they work with—before, during and after a CESO assignment takes place.
Armelle Kouton, owner of Biscuiterie Biskara—a company in Benin that produces nutritious snack biscuits and other therapeutic food products—knows this well. In January 2020, she reached out to CESO for assistance to develop a recipe for a low-cost biscuit that will aid in the treatment of malnutrition in Benin.
Once Armelle and her team selected CESO Advisor Jacques Latulippe for the assignment, he transformed his family’s kitchen in Sherbrooke, Quebec into a laboratory, testing 12 variations of a flavourful cookie that is high in protein, calcium and iron.
Jacques eventually travelled to the Biscuiterie Biskara factory in Cotonouo, Benin to continue testing the recipe with Armelle and adapt the ingredients to incorporate local agricultural products. They called the final product “Le Léoli-Nutri”.
By February, production was underway and Jacques returned home. But his experience with Biscuiterie Biskara wasn’t over—it was time to introduce Le Léoli-Nutri to the world.
Through email and video messages, Jacques helped Armelle develop a marketing plan and design a logo and colourful sticker that would be affixed to the packaging and attract customers.
“We created a quality biscuit thanks to his advice, and now also thanks to Jacques’ expertise and involvement, we were able to come up with a logo that was appreciated by all,” says Armelle.
Jacques also helped Armelle connect with distributors and buyers in areas of Burkina Faso and Togo, where food insecurity and malnutrition is also prevalent.
Jacques was determined to encourage humanitarian organizations concerned about malnutrition to advance the work that he and Armelle started together. “Working remotely made it possible to lay the foundation for meetings and a potential press conference for Biscuiterie Biskara with organizations like the World Food Program in Benin,” he says.
Unfortunately, the global COVID-19 pandemic forced the cancellation of the press conference scheduled for September. But Jacques continues to develop a partnership between the World Food Programme and Biscuiterie Biskara, which will allow for the distribution of the cookies in over 3,800 schools across the country and healthier futures for vulnerable children who will receive the nutrients they need to grow and fight illness.
“Our business has been influenced by COVID-19, but we have resumed many of our processes and we have hope,” says Armelle. “We want to promote our cookies nationally. It would be beneficial for children across the region.”
Banner photo: Jacques meets with the team at Biscuiterie Biskara in Cotonouo, Benin to continue testing the recipe for Léoli-Nutri.
Program undertaken with the financial support of the Government of Canada provided through Global Affairs Canada.