Volta River Estates Ltd. (VREL) was set up in 1988 as a joint-venture between Ghanaian and Dutch nationals and was Ghana’s first commercial banana export operation. The Company was certified Fairtrade in 1996, the first FT hired labour banana producer in the world. VREL is located in Ghana’s Eastern region in the Akwamu area. The estate consists of five banana-growing Sites, covering 380 hectares and employing close to 700 people.
The Directors, Huub van den Broek and Anthony Blay, together running the plantation, have been with the company before it was Fairtrade certified.
Huub and Anthony are assisted by the Director of finance, Christopher Mensah-Yeboah.
At the end of 2019 VREL created Volta River Estates Europe B.V. (VREL Europe) in Barendrecht, Netherlands as their own (100% owned) import and trading company.
VREL Europe markets the fruit of VREL to clients in Europe. Next to that, VREL Europe aims to trade in fresh produce from Europe to Africa and more varieties of fairtrade fruit from Africa to Europe.
Currently onions and potatoes from the Netherlands are exported to Africa. The operations of VREL Europe are managed by Arnaud Bouteiller. Wim Nienhuis provides the financial services and Dutch sourcing.