Interview with Holger Marbach.
Holger Marbach, a pioneering German visionary, is the founder of Vital Camel milk in Kenya. When he first started in 2005, it was a small operation run out the back of his vehicle. After working for more than 15 years in international development, Holger saw the tremendous potential in camel milk in 2003 after spending time in Somalia with an NGO. During his time in Somalia, doctors would often use camel milk as a treatment for malnourishment. This observation got Holger focused on the medicinal value of camel. After some research, Holger saw that setting up an organic camel milk production facility in Kenya as advantageous. Since the creation of Vital Camel Milk, Holger’s main focus has been on the health benefits of camel milk. At the time of establishment, Kenyan camel milk production was more of an informally traded good handled mainly by herders and villagers living on the border of Somalia and Kenya. The observations of the potential medicinal value of camel milk along with the market opportunity on Kenya, pushed Holger head-first in to the journey of his lifetime. The hurdles which Holger had to overcome were many during his journey. He stated that the first hurdle he had to overcome was the general perception of camels as being dirty and bush animals, kept by naked people who never wash themselves. To overcome this, Holger focused on the quality and hygiene of his product.
By investing in processes that highlighted the impeccable quality of Vital Camel milk, the company has grown leaps and bounds in his Kenyan market. Today, shipments to Nairobi alone exceed 1,000 liters per week. The company, with a current payroll of 10, offers a high quality product to a niche market. “In 2012,” Holger said, “people say that Vital Camel Milk is a high quality product which helps treat people with diabetes, allergies and children with autism.” Vital Camel Milk uses batch pasteurization, hygienic packaging, and temperature control of processed milk. The factory, although humble by big production standards, is able to barely meet the demand in East Africa. The camel milk has a 20 day shelf life and is a popular product in the health shops in Nairobi.
According to Holger, since the time of Vital Camel Milk’s founding in 2005, the perception of camels and camel has totally changed and many other players have arisen in the global camel milk production business. As a pioneer, Holger is often contacted by other entrepreneurs interested in the camel milk business. Asked about the future of the camel milk industry, Holger stated that he sees a growing trend in other products being developed around camel milk. Specifically, camel milk will be a special commodity used in the health food and cosmetics industries. He developed Malaika Cosmetics a fascinating natural skin beauty and healing crème from camel milk.
To contact Holger Marbach at Vital Camel Milk, please visit the following website: