Press Releases

• August 17, 2010 - Novelle Consulting Launches New Website
• August 16, 2010 - Erich Hinrichs and John Musser Join Novelle Consulting
• August 1, 2006 - Novelle Principal Awarded Presidential Volunteer Service Award
• December 20, 2005- Sonora State, Mexico Completes Phase I of Development Plan
• April 26, 2005 - PMA Addresses Consumption, Industry Trends with Retailers, Growers in Mexico
• April 18, 2005 - Novelle Assists State of Sonora in Five Year Plan
• June 3, 2004 - BC Hot House Chairman Al Vangelos Elected Russian Farm Project's Chairman of the Board

Novelle in the media

• April 22, 2009, The Packer - Vangelos named Produce Man for All Seasons
• April 10, 2006, The Produce News - Novelle Takes on Winogrond and Obregon as Two Senior Principals
• April 6, 2006, FreshPlaza - Novelle Adds Two New Senior Principals; Obregon and Winogrond
• July, 2005, Productores de Hortalizas - Agronegocios en Sonora
• May 1, 2005, The Produce News - Symposium Shines Spotlight on Sonora Agriculture

on the move

Novelle and Food Safety in Southeast Asia
Novelle and the Gates Foundation
Novelle and the World Bank in Malaysia
Novelle in Southern Sudan
Novelle in Georgia
Novelle in Indonesia
Novelle in Egypt
Novelle in Guatemala
Novelle in Central America
Novelle Consulting in Zambia
Novelle Consulting in the Balkans
Novelle's Indonesian Assignment
Novelle in Southern Africa
Novelle in former Soviet Union
Novelle and Work in Colombia
Bananas in Bangladesh
Vegetables in Moldova
Packing Plant in Moldova
Quality Control in Moldova

white papers

Fairtrade
Novelle Consulting and EUREPGAP
Moscow Supermarket Industry
The 5-Year Agricultural Business Development Plan for Sonora, Mexico
Marketing of Horticultural Produce in Asia-From Sonora Symposium

News


Novelle and the World Bank in Malaysia

Malaysia is a country that has been blessed with extensive natural resources. It has substantial holdings of oil and natural gas, as well as rich timber and logging reserves in the outer islands of Sabah and Sarawak. It has developed an active electronic and light manufacturing sector as well.

Malaysia is also the world leader in two of the more important plantation crops – palm oil and rubber. But while Malaysia has been very successful in these large scale enterprises, it has lagged markedly behind its close southeastern Asia neighbors in the fruit and vegetable sector (particularly the Philippines, Thailand, and Indonesia), as well as smaller scale farming. To this end, Malaysia, through its sovereign investment company, Khazana, created the Malaysian Agrifood Corporation (MAFC), (and – delete) charged with stimulating and modernizing the fruit and vegetable sector of the economy.

Within a relatively short time, the leaders of MAFC realized that they did not have the expertise to adequately carry out their charter. They requested assistance, from the World Bank, and Novelle principal, Henry Winogrond, joined the World Bank team assisting MAFC.

The initial work carried out by Mr. Winogrond and the other members of the team made it quickly evident that (they – change to MAFC) had established a very large team (e.g., a large overhead) of bright and eager folks, who had zero experience in the produce business. In addition, they were attempting to enter into highly competitive areas of the sector (tomatoes, cucumbers, peppers, cabbage, etc.) that were dominated by Chinese families and traders that had been in the business for generations. They were also committing themselves to the very large scale development of a new papaya variety, without adequate testing, including the testing of production, distribution, and marketing.

The World Bank team tried to steer MAFC as rapidly as was possible in three directions. The first was to cut back on the low margin vegetable products until some clear form of competitive advantage could be established. The second was to move into higher margin, higher volume items that could support the high overhead of MAFC. Bananas, fresh cut fruit, and organic production have all now been explored. And the other effort was in the area of food safety. MAFC is working with the government and local trade associations to raise the standards of food safety in the country, which should allow the modern operations of MAFC to compete more effectively. This project is still being executed, as the government of Malaysia has made a long term commitment to the improvement of this sector.