Improving Chilli Supply to UK Manufacturing

by Nathanael Boarer in Portsmouth, United Kingdom

Total raised £2,010

raised so far

40

supporters

We are The Chilli Mash Co. With your support, we hope to raise £100,000 to be able to improve the future importation of chillies into the UK

by Nathanael Boarer in Portsmouth, United Kingdom

We're still collecting donations

On the 19th September 2023 we'd raised £1,600 with 38 supporters in 69 days. But as every pound matters, we're continuing to collect donations from supporters.

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We are The Chilli Mash Co. We are based in Portsmouth UK and with your support, we hope to raise £100,000 to be able to improve the future importation of chillies into the UK by building a sustainable farming process on our small piece of land in Rwanda.

The Chilli Mash Co. is a family-run business that works with local farmers in Rwanda. Empowered by climate change, Southern and Eastern Rwandan farmers have been able to grow a huge variety of fresh chillies which we then export to our UK headquarters and manufacturing premises to make our award-winning selection of fresh chillies, condiments, mashes, purees and dry spice. Our aim is to be able to support the local farmers by building a factory on our existing Rwandan chilli farmland, based in Bugesera in the eastern province of Rwanda.

This will help streamline the farming process, improve the quality and consistency of produce, and allow us to prepare and export chillies at a higher volume, ultimately supporting the local workers and their family’s futures and being able to consistently provide high-quality chilli products to the British public and beyond.

The Farm

With the UK’s variable climate, it can be difficult to grow certain types of chillies consistently. You’ll often end up with too many variations in heat or size and in the winter it’s almost impossible to grow them. Rwanda is warm throughout the year, making it an ideal location for growing chillies to a consistently high standard. 

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Each chilli plant produces approximately 3kg of chillies per season. In comparison to the UK, where the plants are grown vertically, everything at our Rwandan farm is grown in open fields, allowing the chilli plants to bush out. With the help of our local Agronomist, Israel Bizimana, we’re able to ensure we have a consistent supply of chillies that meet the Scoville scale.

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How will the money be used?

With your help, we’ll be able to break down our goal into four simple stages.

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Currently, many of the chilli farming processes are completed by hand. In the long term, being able to automate some of these processes with machinery, such as a grinder and a destalking machine, will massively help with the growing demand for fresh chillies.

We already have architectural plans for the factory in place. Now we just need your support to help us bring this building to life.

Who are we?

Formed in 2016 as a family-run business, Chilli Mash Company was born from a partnership between two existing chilli sauce companies. We aspire to be the largest independent producer of fresh chilli, chilli mashes, purees, condiments and dry spices in the UK. Our products provide everything from mind blowing heat to mouth-watering flavour with 80% of our products containing a chilli base, winning us the Best Raw Ingredients & Condiments Provider at the LUXlife Food & Drink Awards 2021, as well as the Small Business of the Year Award at the Business Excellence Awards in 2019. 

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Alongside our own range of 255 products, we’re also the manufacturing partner to many chilli sauce producers, condiment businesses and restaurants around the UK.

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We are hard grafters, constantly working to find better ways to manage our business and adapt our spaces and working practices to suit every eventuality that comes our way. Adapting our farming processes to meet the demand for chillies is just another step on our journey.

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Why do we want to raise money? 

We have a strong family connection to Rwanda - our co-founder Stephanie grew up there with her many siblings! We want to give back to the local Rwandan farmers so they can support their families and their futures. We’re currently getting involved in the Peace Education programme, and not only focusing on our own farm in Bugesera but also buying produce from other farmers across the country. We want everyone to win, right down to the person who plants the seed. With our knowledge of the local exporting laws, we’re able to help those that face the challenges of exporting their produce to the wider market, meaning everyone benefits at the end of the day. 

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Any money made from this process will be directly reinvested back into the business so we can keep on improving the quality of our products and the quality of life for those involved.

Not only are we supporting those in Rwanda, but we’re also ensuring that consumers in the UK and globally can still get their hands on fresh chillies and chilli products in a cost-effective way. The cost of energy to grow chillies in the UK is now too high to even attempt certain varieties. If we forced growth in the UK, it would simply push up the cost of the end product. Growing chillies in Rwanda means we can keep the price low so that the British public can still get their chilli kick at a reasonable cost. It also creates a more secure supply of chilli products for businesses around the UK, be they restaurants, small businesses, large trading groups or supermarkets. We know that there is a market for chillies and we need your support to continue our chilli mission! 

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Going, Green

Our ultimate aim for the Chilli Mash Co. is to become completely green. It’s a tall order, we know, but we want to do our part to look after the planet and be as eco-friendly as possible. 

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Whilst we do import our chillies from Rwanda, there are many eco-friendly choices that we’ve made to help us towards becoming carbon negative.1688050725_1600x2000px_bullet_points.png

The Timeline

This is a fast-moving project and with plans already in place, we’re hoping our new factory will be open by the end of 2023.

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Your rewards

To thank you for supporting the future of chilli farming, we’ve got a whole host of rewards and perks on offer for you to enjoy. Whether you donate £5 or £50, all our contributors will be added to our registry on our website and receive regular updates on our progress.

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A low risk project

We’re ready to keep you updated with all our work over the next year so you can see exactly how your donation has been used. This project has very few risks involved, as we’ve planned and prepared to work around any potential risks that may arise. 

In Rwanda, there’s always the possibility of an insect or pest problem when working on a farm. However, the appliances in the new factory will allow us to easily remove any affected areas of chillies that may be attacked by pests. We can then turn the remainder of the chilli into a mash or paste so that we’re still able to export it, making the most out of the produce grown.   

There are two potential risks that could affect the chilli farm. 

The cost of living crisis in the UK is at an all time high. With increasing production costs, we want to be able to keep the cost of our products low so that the British public and UK businesses can still enjoy our chilli offerings without breaking the bank. We’ve made sure to diversify our supply chain in the UK so that we have alternative options available to us. This should ensure that there is still a demand for chillies from our farm in Rwanda.

In the long-term, it would be remiss of us to not consider the impact climate change could have. Climate change has allowed Rwanda to become a great source for chilli farming, but there’s always the possibility that temperatures and farming conditions could change again over the years. 

Despite these risks, we really believe the solutions this project provides to the quality of life for our Rwandan farmers, workers and their families far outweigh the risks. Your support will help us give back and ensure that we can continue to bring fresh, delicious chillies to your door.

#LetsTalkAboutChilli

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Thank you!

We sincerely thank you for visiting our campaign! Hopefully, our rewards are exciting enough for you to help us reach our goals. Your support goes a long way in ensuring the future of UK chilli production. For all the latest updates and news about our campaign and chillies, you can follow us on our social channels below.

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Rewards

This project offered rewards

£10 or more

The Personalised One - Your Own Named Hot Sauce!

RRP: £15, Campaign Price: £10, Discount: 33% - You'll receive a personalised message hot sauce. You'll be able to add a name and short message at the end of the campaign and prior to shipping, a perfect Christmas gift!

£5 or more

£5 Donation

As a thank you for contributing to our campaign, we would love to place your name on a plaque that will be featured on the building when it opens.

£15 or more

The Chilli Option - 3 Different Chillies Available

RRP: £20, Campaign Price: £15, Discount: 25%. Receive a mixed box of Chillies (Yellow Habanero, Birds Eye, or Scotch Bonnet) 350g each

£15 or more

Taster Option - A Tiny Sized Selection of Flavours

RRP: £20, Campaign Price: £15, Discount: 25% - The perfect reward if you want to try several hot sauces. Receive 4 taster pots ranging from mild to wild, can you work your way up the heat scale!?

£30 or more

The Gift-able One - 6 of Our Finest Hot Sauces

RRP: £35.99, Campaign Price: £30, Discount: 17% - Get your hands on 1 of each of our hot sauces, totaling 6 x 150ml bottles. This will be a true test of your taste buds, these sauces are bursting with flavours!

£35 or more

A Taste of Rwanda

RRP: £44, Campaign Price: £35, Discount: 21% - This will take your taste buds on a tour of Rwanda. Specially selected Tea, Coffee, Cassava Flour (fufu), Urusenda and Akabanga

£35 or more

The Wholesale One - Discounted Bulk Buy Ingredient

RRP: £42.50, Campaign Price: £35, Discount: 18% - This is the perfect reward for restaurants, food vans, and those who love home cooking! Receive 5kg of fresh bonnet chillies

£99 or more

Your Own Label Option - Bring Your Brand To Life!

RRP: £120, Campaign Price: £99, Discount: 18% - Have you ever wanted to see your very own brand on a hot sauce, now is the time to impress family and friends! This is perfect for competitions, challenges, awards, or giveaways! (24 branded bottles)

£199 or more

An Experience Day - Make Your Own Sauce

During our experience day (in the UK), you will receive a tour of our factory and get to make your very own batch of hot sauce to take away and enjoy! Your name will also be included on our premier donations plaque at the new building when it opens. Set dates will be offered via a calendar that you will be able to choose from after the campaign has ended.

£6,000 or more

The Ultimate VIP Reward - Gorilla Tour in Rwanda

A true one-of-a-kind opportunity! This reward is *per person* for a luxurious 4-night accommodation, with flights and transfers included. You will go on a personalised VIP trek to see the Gorillas in Rwanda with the owners of Chilli Mash Company as well as a personal tour of the new factory site which will include participation in the ribbon cutting when we open. Come and soak up the surroundings and enjoy the cuisine that Rwanda has to offer.

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