How to Find Suppliers for Your Export Business

‘’We have a growing database of suppliers of different African products’’

If you are thinking about venturing into the exportation business, you may have to think of some ideas of your own, like identifying the right commodity you will be capitalising your finances on, is it one of the many high demand products which already got a presence in the market? Or one of the agricultural produce that is uniquely demanded in one of the foreign countries. However, many entrepreneurs find it difficult when it comes time to source suppliers and products.

Whether you plan on exporting raw or processed agricultural produce, depending on your choice, or finding suppliers to purchase from wholesale, good products are not always easy to find. But with the help of the B2B platform, you have excellently made the right choice, as this focuses on how to import and export for local and foreign businesses.

From solid mineral, agricultural produce, or raw materials for manufacturing for finished products to resell, we will match you with the right supplier to do business with.

In this article, we will look at the basics of sourcing a supplier for your new business. We will expose you to an avenue you can easily source for suppliers, and examine how you should approach suppliers more conveniently and most efficiently. This will contribute immensely to developing a product for your commercial business.

Many manufacturers out there are sourcing for suppliers in agricultural produce, manufacturing raw material food produce and cash crops in large amounts, most of these items are needed in countries that have a limited amount of this product to enhance and feed their increase in market demand.  It is essential for locally made items in agricultural produce suppliers to have a sufficient amount of this good to meet the magnifying needs of such manufacture.

Manufacturers typically do not stick to one type of product. For an instance, a farmer who produces cocoa serves varieties of companies, such as a company manufacturing cocoa beverage powder and such a farmer also serves as a supplier to companies that produce chocolate, toppings, cake mixes, etc. This enables retailers to often work with multiple manufacturers at once to create an inventory for their store.

Traditionally, lack of reliable market access for smallholder suppliers has impeded the economic development of rural areas because of the limited access to foreign manufacturers who are willing to venture into exportation business, and it is not feasible for them to deliver their produce directly which is why they engage the use of business to the business organization who help in sourcing for either manufacturers or suppliers from both locally or internationally.

If you plan to manufacture or wholesale, when looking for suppliers you will need to decide whether you want to source domestically or from overseas. Overseas can refer to any location abroad.

It’s often cheaper to source your products from a locally available location like Africa where there is massive land produce that is unavailable in other countries, especially in Nigeria, because of lower labour costs, which encourage suppliers to navigate and supply in groups depending on the magnitude of the product demanded. See below types of sourcing.

Local Sourcing

Local or domestic sourcing is practically the sourcing of products and or raw materials from local sources. Which are distinguished from foreign or international sources by their proximity to your retail place of business i.e. where you sell what you create or offer.

Of course, domestic can mean different things for different businesses. For instance, most American companies can practice domestic sourcing by purchasing their products or raw materials from American providers for American produce, while African American practices domestic sourcing for the local item within a specific African distributor. Also, local sourcing can mean even more domestic than just within the same country.

If your business wants to be eco-friendly or pursue any of the other benefits described above, you could try to find sources for your products within a targeted geographic area depending on your goals.

Suppliers mentioned in these terms are mainly, those who categorise in the supplies of local agricultural required for your exportation business. They are always important sources of emerging information from local farmers and market trends and also help you expand agriculture potential.

If you don’t make selecting good suppliers and vendors a part of your growth plan, you’re likely to regret it. This is dependent on sourcing domestic produce, in which a manufacturer tends to source for produce from local, below are some of the advantages of both local sourcing and foreign sourcing.


  • Higher manufacturing quality and labour standards
  • Easier communication with no language barrier
  • Marketing appeal of being made in North America
  • Easier to verify reputable manufacturers
  • Faster shipping time
  • High intellectual property right protection
  • Greater payment security and recourse


  • Higher manufacturing costs
  • Less product choice

Foreign Sourcing

These are internationally sourced items whereby a manufacturer or useful source for an item or products which are not readily available in such country and it entails technical and practical skills for better result. When working with overseas manufacturers and suppliers, it’s a good idea to hire a manufacturing management company or engage a strong connection network of people who are versatile in foreign exportation.

These managers are locals who live near your manufacturers and handle negotiations, orders, and managing your partners.

They are mostly seen as a central hub for your overseas supply chain. They attend to issues and problems as a result of the risk factor of the exportation procedures. They also speak the local language, which helps improve communication and make production smooth for your business.


  • Lower manufacturing cost
  • The high number of manufacturers to choose from
  • One-stop services like Aben have made it easy to navigate suppliers


  • Lower perceived quality from customers
  • Lower manufacturing and labour standards
  • Little intellectual property protection

When working with overseas manufacturers and suppliers, it’s a good idea to inquire about the use of a business-to-business platform such as ABEN, a pan African Business and Exporters e-commerce platform.

Where one can network and also connect with suppliers and buyers. In this form, we help local suppliers contact directly both corresponding suppliers and overseas suppliers for exportation for successful transactions, handle negotiations, orders, and manage their partners.

They can also be the intermediary for your business and buyers or manufacturing companies. Think of us as the central hub for your overseas supply chain in which we help improve communication networks and make exportation smooth for your business.


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