BY JOSEPHINE IGBINOVIA
With an estimated 17 million people dying from cardiovascular disease each year and salt consumption increasing in spite of warning from scientists over its contributory role, three Nigerian women have risen to salvage the Nigerian populace. These three widely-travelled women are particularly concerned about the excess salt contained in most sausages in the country and have therefore jointly established Timepiece Farmer’s Choice Limited to pursue this cause. A graduate of Howard University, Mrs.Kemi Odunowo, Director of the group, spoke with Feminista.
People say it’s difficult for women to work together; how easy is it with you?
I don’t agree to that because it depends on your pedigree and background. Adaeze Balogun who is the Administrative Director is a professional Human Resource consultant; Mrs.Lola Animashaun is a business professional while I have always been a marketing and sales person. When you come from the same sort of background and have same sort of pedigree, you are more likely to work together as a team. Even when one might be a bit bias about an idea, it is talked out rather than swallowed grudgingly. Upbringing also has alot to do with it.
What actually informed this synergy?
The three of us came together two years ago to establish Timepiece Ventures Limited as a business group and eventually, we realised something that was indeed worrisome- salt content in food, particularly sausages. Incidentally, one of our friends came into Nigeria and observed same. He questioned why there were hardly healthy sausages in the country and we decided to take up the challenge.
This is important because, already, heart diseases are on the increase and doctors are already advising people to consume less salt because it could contribute to it. We therefore started by doing a bit of research on sausages. Shortly afterwards, Mr.Animashaun, our chairman, went to Kenya and ran into a colleague of his who introduced Farmer’s Choice, one of the most trusted butcher firms in Kenya, to him. Subsequently, we all went to Kenya, got the franchise and began about a year ago.
What has been the response of Nigerians to the product?
The feedback has been tremendous and overwhelming. All exhibitions we’ve attended have been great and we’ve had people asking for supply already but we have to first put structures in place to be ready to launch formally in June.
Talking about sausages; what makes a sausage good or bad?
Any good sausage should taste what you say it is. When you say it is beef, you must taste beef in what you’re eating. If you say it is chicken, then it must taste chicken. We did a bit of research, like I said, and realized that most of the sausages in the country are quite salty. This is worrisome because salt is not good for any one’s heart.