Jean Claude Hakizimana is a Sourcing Analyst at Africa Improved Foods, a food manufacturing company based in Rwanda. Africa Improved Foods is a social enterprise and embedded in its business model is a comprehensive strategy to reduce poverty, create jobs and address stunting and malnutrition.
Tell us about your current role and your background in the dairy industry?
I am a Sourcing Analyst at Africa Improved Foods, a food manufacturing company based in Rwanda. My company relies on my knowledge about market insights and pricing for several ingredients Africa Improved Foods uses. Before I started working here, I did not have a dairy background and therefore tried to get in touch with multiple companies/platforms to gain more knowledge about the dairy market. I then found Vesper which I use to gain reliable information, specifically on Skimmed Milk powder.
Africa Improved Foods, Rwanda
“The good thing about Vesper though is that most suppliers solely rely on Vesper, which makes negotiating much easier”
How does the data provided by Vesper help you in your current role as a Sourcing Analyst?
I use Vesper as a tool for negotiation. As our main source for SMP is Europe, we have to understand the different quotations European suppliers are working with. Because Vesper covers European market price information, we can now easily ask our supplier for details about the spot price as we are now able to understand the quotes given from European suppliers. We thus use Vesper as a benchmark to manage additional costs. Of course there are some other platforms, like EEX (I also know Vesper uses EEX for futures information), so it’s a combination of services we use. The good thing about Vesper is that most suppliers also rely on Vesper, which makes negotiating much easier.
How often do you use Vesper?
I have Vesper open everyday; each and every morning I look at Vesper to see where the futures are, whether the forecasts are staying the same and whether there is any important news or updates. As an analyst we also need to look at other factors that influence the price – the good thing about Vesper is that they not only provide prices, they also report production, supply and demand which are huge price determinants.
Do you have a favorite part of Vesper, the part that helps you the most?
For our company as a whole, the dashboard is the most important feature because it gives you a complete overview of the market. For me as an analyst however, the market analysis part is the most interesting because it explains market trends and certain price movements.
“The forecasts Vesper publishes however are purely updated on market data, making them more accurate, and more reliable for decision making”
Has using Vesper affected your decision making or the way you interpret information?
Definitely yes. Especially because Vesper publishes forecasts. It makes decision making a lot easier when you see how prices may develop in the future. Relying solely on forecasts can be tricky, especially because price fluctuations are common in the agricultural market we are working in – sometimes predictions are not reliable and may not be 100% accurate. The forecasts Vesper publishes however are updated on a regular basis, making them more accurate, and reliable for decision making.
“Vesper makes my job more efficient and enables me to quicker respond to different requests”
What are the main benefits you’ve found from using Vesper?
As a company we don’t really use it for other purposes. I do use Vesper to defend any decisions I make. towards my management. With Vesper as a reliable source of information, we are able to challenge prices and reduce costs, which is exactly what management aims for.