Welcome to Queen Of Sheba. We’re thrilled you’ve decided to visit us.

 The purposes of our existence are:

To reach out to small and medium-sized businesses in developing countries who are interested in selling their products to buyers from developed markets, and advise/help them to get their products up to standards and promote and market the products.

To also reach potential buyers to provide information on products available in developing markets.



Queen of Sheba seeks to connect producers and sellers in developing countries (mainly in Africa) with buyers and consumers in developed countries.

We also:

  • Promote and create decent jobs. We pay special attention to women and youth. We support women in management positions and women entrepreneurs.

  • Stimulate sustainable trade and production.



Do you want to export your product to Europe? Doing market research is the first step. To help you, we have researched important questions about the European market. Per sector and product group, you will find important market information. Enter the European market with confidence.


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The European market potential for avocados

The supply of avocados is increasing fast, but the European market still has room for growth and can absorb the higher volumes. The healthy nature and multiple uses of avocados result in strong consumer demand for avocados. Fruit businesses can free-ride on the promotion of avocados, but to join the success in trade your supply must be consistent and of high quality.



Entering the European market for shea butter

There is an increasing demand for shea butter in the European cosmetics market. Shea butter is a versatile ingredient that has a wide range of applications in the cosmetics industry. The main driver is the increasing demand for natural and organic cosmetics on the European market. It is expected that the demand for shea butter will continue to rise in Europe.


The United Kingdom’s market potential for coffee

The United Kingdom ranks among the largest European coffee-consuming markets. Within Europe, the United Kingdom is a key market for certified coffees. British in-home consumption is still dominated by the sale of instant coffees, but higher-quality coffee pods and ground coffee are gaining popularity. The popularity of higher-quality coffees is also driven by the enormous coffee shop market in the country.




To enter the European market for shea butter you must meet the mandatory requirements set by the European Union. At the same time, also consider meeting common additional requirements that European buyers and niche markets have as they will give you an advantage in your journey to enter the European market. The European market for shea butter is divided into two segments, providing different channels you can enter through. When entering the European market, you will face competition from other

countries, companies, and products. In recent years, prices of shea butter have increased.

1. What requirements must shea butter for cosmetics comply with to be allowed on the European market?

What are mandatory requirements?  

As an exporter of shea butter from a developing country, your shea butter can only be exported for the European cosmetics market if you comply with the European Union’s (EU) mandatory legal requirements for natural ingredients for cosmetics. Non-compliance will prevent your shea butter from entering the European market for cosmetics.

EU Mandatory Requirements

To enter the European cosmetics market your product must comply with several EU regulations, including:

Technical Documentation

To comply with the EU’s legal requirements, European buyers of shea butter for cosmetics need you to provide a well prepared technical dossier. The technical dossier should include:

  • Technical Data Sheet (TDS),

  • Safety Data Sheet (SDS)

  • Certificate of Analysis (COA)


According to the Agricultural Outlook 2021-2030 report from the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) and the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO), avocado is expected to become the second-most traded major tropical fruit by 2030, after bananas. It will overtake the export volume of both pineapples and mangoes. A growing global demand and major investments in production are at the base of this expansion.

Although avocado has the lowest production among the major tropical fruits, the growth outperforms the other fruits. The global production volume is expected to reach 12 million tonnes, three times more than a decade ago. In Mexico, the world’s largest avocado producer, there was a decrease in volume in 2020. But in the long-term Mexican supplies may increase by 5.2% on an annual basis to fulfil the growing demand in the United States. Countries such as Peru, Colombia and Kenya continued their growth with double digits, with most of their exports being destined for the European market.

The United States and the European Union are expected to remain the largest importers. According to OECD/FAO these regions will be responsible for 40% and 31% of global imports in 2030 despite the growing trade with other regions such as China and the Middle East. For growers and exporters it will be important to focus on specific regions where demand has room to grow, but also to diversify their markets, anticipating on markets becoming less concentrated.

Europe can absorb growing volumes of avocados

Avocado has been the most dynamic fruit in the past years, characterised by an insatiable demand and an unbalanced supply. Europe is also able to absorb more avocados. This happened during the production peak in 2018 and again to some extent in 2020.

After a peak in volumes in 2018, the leading suppliers, Peru and South Africa, both saw their export potential decline in 2019 and as a result the overall price was higher. In 2020, the COVID-19 pandemic broke out, which initially led to a sudden increase in demand. This demand was mainly fulfilled by retailers since restaurants were closed due to the lockdowns. Once the Peruvian season started, the massive supply made prices drop again to a level lower than in the past five years. Due to these lower prices, consumption stayed strong. All together imports grew to a volume of 700,000 tonnes and a value of almost 1.7 billion euros (see Figure 1).

The advantage of avocados is that they are programmed (contractually planned) by retailers and their promotions can help sell additional volume. This way a much larger volume can be pushed into the market and boost consumption. This is what happened in 2018 and again in 2020, but with a price difference of 30% as a result. Despite the strong demand for avocados, there is a limit to Europe’s ability to keep up with the speed in which avocados are being cultivated for export across the world.

Supply volumes have a major influence in stimulating European imports. In the next years you will see import volumes increase further, but you can expect new price drops when there is too much supply. These drops will be noticeable especially during the Peruvian season, but other suppliers from Colombia, Mexico and Kenya are also reaching volumes that can over-supply the market later in the year. New markets, in and outside Europe, will be necessary to make a growing supply sustainable. In the long term (>3 years), avocados will become a standard product for retailers in most European countries with higher volumes throughout Europe, but also with a slower growth rate.


A wide variety of suppliers serves the European coffee market

According to data from Eurostat, Brazil and Vietnam are the largest suppliers of green coffee to the European market. These two countries account for almost half of Europe’s imports: Brazil supplies 28% of total European imports, and Vietnam 18%. Other significant suppliers of green coffee to Europe include Honduras (6.3%), Colombia (5.5%), Uganda (4.7%), and India (3.4%).

Each supplying country plays a different role, targeting certain segments of the European coffee sector. Brazil is a large supplier of both Robusta and Arabica varieties. In 2020/21, an estimated 71% of Brazil’s production was Arabica. Between 2016/17 and 2020/21, the total Brazilian coffee production volume increased at an average annual rate of 5.7%, reaching nearly 4.2 million tonnes of green coffee in 2020/21. Brazil’s coffee exports to Europe amounted to 999 thousand tonnes in 2020, registering an average annual increase of 0.4% between 2016 and 2020.

Vietnam, India and Uganda have a strong focus on Robusta production. Vietnam’s production volume consisted of 97% Robusta in 2020/21, Uganda’s 85% and India’s 73%. Between 2016 and 2020, Indian and Vietnamese exports to Europe decreased on average by -5.7% and -3.2% respectively, while exports from Uganda increased by 8.0% over the same period. India’s exports to Europe have been declining in the last decade due to a stronger need for value addition in different stages of coffee processing as well as to the rising demand for specialty coffees. Uganda’s increase in exports in recent years is attributed to an increase in production by newly planted coffee trees and favourable weather conditions, as well as to the high affinity for Ugandan coffee in Europe.

Colombia and Honduras are known for their large and exclusively Arabica production volumes. Colombia is the world’s third-largest coffee producer, producing an estimated 858 thousand tonnes in 2020/21. Colombia’s production decreased slightly between 2016/17 and 2020/21, at a rate of -0.5%. Supplies to Europe also decreased slightly, at a rate of -3.8% yearly, reaching 198 thousand tonnes in 2020.

In Honduras, Arabica production decreased at an average annual rate of -4.5% between 2016/17 and 2020/21. Nevertheless, Honduras’ green coffee exports to Europe grew at an annual growth rate of 3.8% between 2016 and 2020. Honduras is Europe’s second-largest supplier of organic coffee beans (after Peru), with supplies amounting to 41 thousand tonnes in 2020.

Peru’s production of Arabica varieties and organic-certified coffees also provides potential for specialty and niche markets in Europe. Coffee exports from Peru to Europe showed a year-to-year decline of -4.5% between 2016 and 2020, reaching a share of 2.9% of total European coffee imports. Reasons for the declining export volumes are the long-lasting damaging effects of the coffee leaf rust outbreak in 2015, as well as the fact that coffee farmers in Peru have been facing financial difficulties in the past three years as revenues have not met production costs. Peru is the largest supplier of organic coffee to Europe, with amounts reaching 44 thousand tonnes in 2020. A large share of Peruvian coffee supplies is directed to Germany, the main organic market in Europe.

Ethiopia is also a well-known supplier of Arabica coffee and organic-certified coffees. Only 37% (87 thousand tonnes) of Ethiopia’s exports was directed to the European market in 2020, mostly to Germany, France and Belgium. Large destination markets for Ethiopian coffees outside of Europe are Saudi Arabia, Japan and the United States. Ethiopian supplies to Europe declined slightly between 2016 and 2020, at a year-to-year rate of -0.1%.

Nicaragua’s coffee exports to Europe showed a sharp increase between 2016 and 2020, at a rate of 19% per year. European imports from Nicaragua amounted to 51 thousand tonnes in 2020, 1.2% of total European imports. Nicaragua is known for its Arabica production, yet the country has a small production of Robusta too. Nicaragua’s exports to Europe have been boosted by a public-private effort in the framework of the Association Agreement between the European Union and Central America.


  • Access our studies to learn more about the specialty coffee sector in Europe, the European market for certified coffees and the organic coffee potential on the European market.

  • Find importers from specific European markets that specialise in organic products on the website of Organic-bio.

  • If you produce coffee according to a Fairtrade scheme, find specialised European buyers who are familiar with sustainable and/or fair trade products, for instance by using the FLOCERT customer database.

  • Promote the sustainable and ethical aspects of your production process and support these claims with certification. See our study on doing business with European coffee buyers for more tips on marketing and promoting your coffee.

  • Before engaging in a certification scheme, verify with your potential buyers whether certification is required and whether it provides you with a competitive advantage over other suppliers to the European market. This is important, as a relatively large share of certified coffee worldwide is not sold as such.

  • Inform yourself about the costs involved to certify your company. Direct costs include those necessary to comply with the certification standard, as well as the fee paid to a certifying body to obtain the certificate for your farm or company. If you are new to certification, get price quotations from different control bodies in your region and negotiate with these (private) companies to get the best deal.

  • Are you interested in exporting high-quality coffee? Learn more about cupping scores on the website of the Specialty Coffee Association (SCA). You can also consider getting a Q-grader or R-grader certificate to be able to cup and score your Arabica and/or Robusta coffee according to international standards.

  • Investigate whether you qualify for industry awards, such as the Cup of Excellence programme. This can be an interesting way to profile yourself and your coffee origin in the European market for high-quality coffee. The Cup of Excellence is an annual competition among the highest-quality coffees, which takes place in several countries.


Do you have any questions about exporting to Europe? Want to know more about our export coaching projects? Or do you have questions about our market information? Please feel free to contact us.  queensheba9884@gmail.com



Here For You

The founder of Queen of Sheba, Nardos Abebe Yauney, was born and raised in the small town of Nazareth, Ethiopia. From a young age, she had an interest in business and dreamed of one day opening her own. Her first working experiences were in restaurants in Ethiopia. Although she was able to see and learn how a business operates, her dream of opening her own still seemed very far away.  As a young adult, she moved to Washington, DC where she had her first opportunity to learn a different language and culture. She was also able to observe how businesses operate in different environments.  When she returned to Africa a few years later, she finally got her opportunity to open her own business, first importing cosmetic products to Ethiopia and later producing shea butter hair and skincare products in Uganda. Operating a business in Africa exposed her to the challenges business people often face when trying to export their products from Africa to developed countries, while at the same time recognizing the potential of African goods to be sold on the international market. She understood that challenges often center around navigating the regulatory requirements and meeting product and packaging quality standards demanded by international buyers. Queen of Sheba seeks to bridge this gap and assist both African producers and sellers by helping them to understand the market demands and to produce quality products for export, and to help buyers identify producers of goods that meet their requirements. By linking these two groups, she hopes to bring new and innovative products to consumers in the international marketplace and help African businesses realize success by sharing their products with new customers and markets.

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The most premium East African Shea

Nilotica Organic is the most premium unrefined cold-pressed shea butter from northern Uganda.

What Is Shea Butter? 20 Reasons to Add It to Your Routine

What is it?

Shea butter is fat that’s extracted from the nuts of the shea tree. It’s solid at warm temperatures and has an off-white or ivory color. Shea trees are native to West and East  Africa, and most shea butter still comes from that region.

Shea butter has been used as a cosmetic ingredient for centuries. Its high concentration of vitamins and fatty acids — combined with its easy-to-spread consistency — make it a great product for smoothing, soothing, and conditioning your skin.

Curious? Here are 20 reasons to add it to your routine, how to use it, and more.

1. It’s safe for all skin types

      2. It’s moisturizing

      3. It won’t make your skin oily

      4. It’s anti-inflammatory

      5. It’s antioxidant

       6. It’s antibacterial

       7. It’s antifungal

       8. It may help prevent acne

       9. It helps boost collagen production

      10. It helps promote cell regeneration

      11. It may help reduce the appearance of stretch marks and scarring

     12. It may help reduce the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles

     13. It offers added sun protection

    14. It may help prevent hair breakage

    15. It may help treat dandruff

    16. It may help soothe conditions like eczema, dermatitis, and psoriasis

    17. It may help soothe sunburn and other skin burns

    18. It may help soothe insect bites

   19. It can help promote wound healing

   20. It may help relieve arthritis pain

If you want to get the most out of your shea butter, purchase it in its raw and unrefined form. The more that shea butter is processed, the more its amazing, all-natural properties are diluted.

For this reason, shea butter is classified by a grading system from A to F, with grade A being the purest form of shea butter you can buy.

Buying shea butter that’s raw and unrefined also helps more of your purchase count toward supporting the communities that harvest and grow shea nuts. 

Here is a product to try that support the East African (Uganda) communities producing most of the world’s shea tree nut supply:

Queen of Shea is a social enterprise on a mission to create a more sustainable and equitable future. Our women-led cooperatives in East Africa produce, ingredients rooted in tradition. When you choose our handcrafted products, you join us in supporting education, maternal care, and environmental sustainability.

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The bottom line

  • Shea butter is packed with essential nutrients that can enhance your natural complexion and help you glow from the inside out.

  • Although it’s considered safe for every skin type, many products containing shea butter have other ingredients mixed in.

  • If you experience any side effects that you suspect are connected to a shea butter product, discontinue use and see a doctor or other healthcare provider. They can help determine what’s causing your symptoms and advise you on any next steps.

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Queen Of Sheba has earned its positive reputation because we go out of our way to provide truly exceptional service to each of our customers.



Ensure their products are certified and meet the standards to sell in developed countries.

Information on demand for specific types of products. 

Promote those products to potential buyers. 

Facilitate sale and shipment of products to buyers. 



Provide information on products available (type, quantity, quality, including certification and standards) for sale in developing countries, and

Connect to appropriate sellers.



Facilitate sale and shipment of products to buyers

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