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The conference once again proved its value as part of the Capacity Building Programme for farm workers. Combining it to the Foundation’s AGM increased the experiential learning as delegates were exposed to the broader, strategic and decision-making aspects of the organisation. This proved to be very empowering for many workers who expressed their appreciation for the fact that they were given access to such an important process of the Foundation. Many also reported that their understanding about the partnerships between the farm, the supermarket in the UK and the Waitrose Foundation as well as the scope of its work improved.
The theme of the conference namely ‘Strategic Alignment with Change’ was relevant because it facilitated the focus of delegates on what was addressed during the AGM. It was also informative and challenging on personal, managerial (worker committees) and organisational levels. Delegates were exposed to meaningful presentations from the Foundation’s General Manager, farm project coordinators and/or committee chairpersons as well as Directors from the Department of Agriculture. These elements combined with the programme design, the atmosphere at the venue and the positive/constructive interaction between Foundation staff and farm representatives contributed to the overall success of the conference. 35 Project Coordinators and 38 Committee Chairpersons represented their respective farms.
Evaluations at the end of the event revealed the high regard and appreciation farm workers have for the work of the Foundation, the value they place on the peer learning experience of the conference as well as requests to continue, improve and extend the duration of the conference.
Meet one of our Bursary students, Siyabonga Mathebula, who’s currently doing his 2nd year Master’s Degree at North West University Mafikeng Campus. The Foundation supported him since 2011 when he started his agricultural studies at the Lowveld College until he obtained the Honours Degree in Crop Science and qualified for a bursary from the Department of Agriculture to attain a Master’s Degree in Crop Science. His current research focus is “The effects of planting dates, organic and inorganic fertilizers on the growth of three tomato cultivars”. Despite challenges he encountered earlier this year, the experiment has been going well and fruits have been harvested.
Photo: Research on Tomatoes
Siyabonga was offered an opportunity to be a facilitator in Mareetsane village, a community that is situated 50 km away from Mafikeng. His duty as facilitator was to educate subsistence farmers in that community about primary agriculture. In his time as a facilitator he learnt a lot regarding communication with adults who cannot write or speak English. He also realized that even though they were not equipped theoretically, their work experience were advantageous.
Photo: Mareetsane Village
Siyabonga is continuously looking for opportunities for further studies and applied for a scholarship at a university in Ireland. He was invited for an interview (which he passed) and qualified to move to the next round of writing an IELTS (International English Language Testing System) test. He will receive admission to one of the two universities (Galway or Dublin), where he applied. The two qualifications he has applied for are MSc in climate change, agriculture and food security while the 2nd option is MSc in agriculture, rural development and sustainable agriculture.
Siyabonga Mathebula serves as a great inspiration to many in his community. We wish him well with the IELTS test as well as his future academic and vocational goals.]]>
Teenagers often become bored during school holidays. Many are innocently idle while some invent their own games/activities (often in the vineyards and/or orchards) and a small percentage experiment with alcohol and drugs. The Waitrose Foundation encourages the expansion of sport and recreation activities to minimize the above mention risk and maximize development opportunities with children/youth who have the time, facilities and the support of their parents as well as farm management.
An informal survey confirmed that there are sufficient interest to justify the investment of Thabo Tyholweni (Intern at Waitrose Foundation) in the design and delivery of Soccer Coaching Sessions on interested farms. The coaching is focused on technical as well as Life Skills lessons and it takes place during the June and September school holidays
With the help of Quinton Apollis who’s a current student at the University of Stellenbosch we managed to initiate our first Soccer Coaching session at Remhoogte farm in Grabouw. We had a total number of 11 children who participated in a one and half hour session. The session consisted of basic soccer training routines which all were linked to important life skills lesson. The soccer training exercises/drills that were presented, challenged the children to use their communication skills, listening skills and each individual’s ability to work in a team.
They were also taught basic soccer skills like how to pass a ball, how to take a free kick, etc. and the rules of the game of football were shared with those who participated. The feedback we got from those who participate was so positive that they requested another session during the upcoming school holidays.
On the 12th of July, 2016 we held our 2nd Soccer Training Clinic at Crookes Brothers Farm in Grabouw. A total of 26 children/youth ranging from 6 to 20 years attended. The children/youth enjoyed the session so much that it had to be extended to two and half hours.
The Soccer Training Clinic later that day moved to Applethwaite, were we had a total of 13 promising young footballers. Due to bad weather the duration of the Soccer coaching session wasn’t as long as it was planned.
On the 6th of October, we added Lorenzo Faro to the Coaching team who has a SAFA certificate in coaching. We facilitated another successful event at Monteith. A Total of 26 attended which in the group included boys and girls between the ages of 7 to 20 years old.
The Soccer Coaching activities demonstrated to participating farms how their sport and recreation programmes can be expanded to involve more children/youth to:
The Great Fruit Adventure begins on November 8 at New Spitalfields Market in London when the duo will be waved off by a group of 100 children from a nearby school, as well as representatives from the Lord Mayor’s office. After leaving London they will bike their way to Cape Town, South Africa visiting numerous fruit and vegetable growers along the way. They plan to chronicle their story, and that of the growers, in order to raise awareness of how fruit and vegetables get from where they are grown to British retail shelves.
MacGillivray says: “I can’t wait for the journey now especially after the encouragement and backing from the Waitrose Foundation and the Fairtrade Foundation. Fresh produce is my lifelong passion and I’ve put my heart and soul into the industry so I was dismayed to read that six out of 10 British children had no idea where the fruit and vegetables they eat comes from. Something had to be done. I want to tell the story of the fantastic places where our fruit and vegetables are grown and having two big industry names backing us all the way is incredible.”
Along the way, they will visit major citrus growers in Spain, the largest grower of sweetcorn in Senegal,Blue Skies, a Ghanaian fruit grower which supplies Waitrose and Sainsbury’s with prepared fruit products, leading exotic vegetable and coffee growers in Kenya, as well as growers in Tanzania and South Africa.
The Waitrose Foundation is a partnership between Waitrose, its suppliers and growers who produce, pick and pack its fresh produce in Ghana, Kenya and South Africa. The initiative was launched 11 years ago to help improve the lives of the workers and communities that supply Waitrose’s products, including some citrus fruits, flowers and avocados.
Amali Bunter, responsible sourcing manager at the foundation says: “It’s great Max will be visiting Waitrose Foundation farms where he’ll be able to understand the story behind our range of Waitrose Foundation products. He’ll be able to learn how we invest in the communities of the people who produce the quality goods we sell in our branches. By being involved in The Great Fruit Adventure we hope that children will gain a fascinating insight into where their food comes from and how the Waitrose Foundation is having a positive impact on communities across Africa.”
Joanna Mills is the education campaigns manager at the Fairtrade Foundation in the UK and she is excited about the educational advantages the link with MacGillivray and Jones’ ride will provide. “The Great Fruit Adventure champions our work with schools – helping students understand where some of the food we eat in the UK comes from and how our shopping choices can support farmers in developing nations,” says Mills. “Farmers and growers around the world face many problems from unfair trading practices and poverty to climate change. The challenge Max is setting out on should help raise much-needed awareness about some of the issues. We wish him the best of luck.”
The Fairtrade Foundation works to benefit small-scale farmers and workers across 74 developing countries, including some of the African countries the Great Fruit Adventure will travel through. It is an independent certification body which licenses the use of the Fairtrade mark in the UK on products that meet the foundation’s social, economic and environmental standards.
These latest backers highlight the growing prominence this project is gaining within the industry. Since its launch last year, The Great Fruit Adventure has gained many supporters – including Produce Business UK which is proud to be the official media partner of the initiative – and its stand was one the highlights on a busy exhibition floor at The London Produce Show and Conference in June.
Publicity has been unceasing, particularly on social media. The team took part in the Kids Country Food & Farming Day at the East of England Showground in July, taking space within the African Village. It provided an opportunity for school kids and their teachers to find out about the Great Fruit Adventure and what was being planned. The bikes were particularly popular. MacGillivray says: “The reaction was amazing. The kids were fascinated. At the Food and Farming Day I had 428 kids sitting on my motorbike. They were fascinated by the adventure, by the fact that these bikes were about to travel all the way to South Africa. We talked about where the fruit came from and gave them some fruit as well.
“The five a day campaign can be very grey. The Great Fruit Adventure is exactly that. Kids are attracted to it and learn from it. I have got 13 schools booked up between now and October to give talks and presentations [at]. At South Lea in Bury St Edmunds, the local MP Jo Churchill will be coming along to endorse the Great Fruit Adventure and we will be taking some pictures at the event. It is a good photo opportunity!”
Yet more schools are already booked up for presentations as soon as MacGillivray returns from South Africa. It is hoped that by raising awareness of fruit and vegetables, kids will be encouraged to eat more rather than opting for junk food. MacGillivray and Jones are also planning to create a 30-40 minute film of the journey which will be available for schools to use as an educational resource in encouraging children to eat more fruit and vegetables. And not just in the UK – the film will be made available internationally.
A crowdfunding campaign is set to begin in September offering a variety of rewards for which people can bid. These include the opportunity for a school to take a group of children and a teacher, all expenses paid, to East Africa to visit some of the farms featured during MacGillivray’s Great Fruit Adventure.
All profits raised once the cost of the trip is covered will go to a select number of Africa-facing nominated charities.
More sponsors and supporters are still being sought for the project. To get involved call 01284 715055, email firstname.lastname@example.org or visit www.thegreatfruitadventure.com
Mr Williamson is responsible for the sourcing, buying, ranging and pricing of branded and own label products.
Mr Williamson joined the Partnership in June 2004 as Head of Buying, Grocery. In April 2005 his portfolio was widened to include Wines, Beers, Spirits and Tobacco. He was appointed Supply Chain Director in April 2007 and took up his current role in June 2010.]]>
A festive Gala Dinner was held to celebrate the achievements of the Foundation in collaboration with Waitrose and it’s supply partners over the last ten years. This event was the ideal opportunity to give special recognition to member farms who excelled in the focus areas of the foundation.
The Media Centres (5) of the Timberlea Group have grown in leaps and bounds over the last number of years under the leadership of Marion Jeffery and support of her husband, Roy Jeffery.
This project displays the importance and value of management support to a project and confirms that this is a success factor for any project on farms. Marion has always been passionate about Education and saw the opportunity in programmes such as CAMI that can enhance the Literacy and Numeracy Skills of primary and high school learners. All children on the 5 farms benefit from regular, structured afterschool support in centres that has been upgraded to house different extra murals (chess/music) and learning support programmes (CAMI/tutoring/library) that contributes to the holistic development of children. Reports from primary schools about some of their learners’ academic progress confirm that the investment of passion, time, skills and funds over time has made an impact.
In memory of Sister Johanna Pieters we acknowledge the work of outstanding teams that improved primary health care services in the Northern Cape.
Their services commenced in May 2014, after the completion of suitable farm clinic-rooms on 8 farms and the provision of a dedicated vehicle for this purpose, to the benefit of approximately 1900+ farm workers per season. On average 500 minor ailment consultations handled per month during peak season and out of season on average of 260 primary health care consultations. Staff composition: one full time nurse and an assistant.
Significant positive impact has been reported since the commencement of the project.
The project started in 2007. Since its inception this project has grown from operating in a small room with only two staff members to a bigger centre consisting of five big working spaces and to date the centre employs seven staff members and also offers mobile clinic service to cover the company farms in the outlying areas. This project, implemented in Tzaneen where most of Westfalia Fruit population is based, provides primary and occupational health services by subsidising the cost of medication at the clinic.
The subsidised clinic cost allows significant savings for workers which can be invested in their other needs. In addition to the 1597 (workers not medical aid) actual company employees, their children as well as their immediate family members benefit from this project. This gives an estimation of 6388 total beneficiaries based on an average of 4 family members in a household.
Monteith – Integrated Approach to Social Development
The farm has a strong focus on shared values and healthy relationships as part of the foundation for their community development initiatives. The following range of projects reveals their integrated approach to social development:
An entrepreneurial culture was developed amongst the workers by the late owner James Simpson. Most of the workers on Auldearn have embraced this approach for the advancement of their community through income generating projects. Current farm management sustains this empowering culture by making their vehicles and equipment available until projects are self-sustaining and profitable.
The following projects have been supporting their own community by subsidising school uniforms for primary and high school learners, supporting families who need to travel to other provinces for funerals and family emergencies, etc.
This project was planned and implemented in the context of a province that’s one of the poorest in South Africa and notorious for social challenges such as high employment, poor service delivery, etc. The project is designed to address these challenges and therefore develops the skills of seasonal workers to grow their own necessary vegetables in a sustainable way in the limited space they have at the homes in different townships around Kirkwood in the Eastern Cape. 300 -400 workers benefit from this project.