Halal Industry

She built FreshSource, Egypt’s disruptive agri-tech: ‘Never let anyone tell you that you can’t do anything’ – Farah Emara, CEO and Co-founder

Women are active drivers of the growth and success of the global Islamic economy. This story is part of the Successful Women in the Islamic Economy series published in the State of the Global Islamic Economy 2020/21 report that you can DOWNLOAD HERE


Faram Emara had a solid job and a steady income with one of the world’s biggest multinationals. Yet, she decided to make the leap into a venture and industry she had no expertise in. What she did have was the driven and determination to change something for the better.

In 2019, Farah and her brother Omar started FreshSource, a B2B agri-tech platform that helps to solve the problem of food loss and boost smallholder farmers’ incomes in Egypt.

“In Egypt, nearly 40 – 50% of all food produced is lost before it even reaches the retailer,” said Farah.

“We found that a lot of it is due to the lack of access that smallholder farmers have to markets. They cannot reach the proper markets, they’re exploited by traders that give them low prices for their produce and they also lack the know-how.”

Smallholder farmers in Egypt usually inherit the land and farming skills from their fathers and their grandfathers, but it’s often the case that they are not taught the right way to get the most out of their plots, said Farah.

“So we decided, ok, we’re going to focus on these farmers and we’re going to be working with them to grant them access to the markets through us. What we do is that we try to increase the farmers’ income, we’ve managed to do it by nearly 20%, and at the same time sell for around 15% lower to different kinds of businesses.

“At the same time we use technology, we use data to make sure that there is holistic coaching so crops are treated as they should be, packaged in the proper way so that we save as much of the crops as possible.”

Read more of the interview with Farah in the State of the Global Islamic Economy 2020/21 report that you can DOWNLOAD HERE.

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SGIE 2020/21