Discount retailer Aldi has extending its partnership with Farm Africa for two years “to support young farmers in rural western Kenya, to boost resilience to climate change and improve the quality of their fresh produce, making their farming businesses more sustainable.”
Aldi’s Growing Futures partnership, which started in 2016, has reached over 500 young farmers, helping them to increase production of fresh produce and develop links to local and international markets. Ultimately, the partnership ensures farmers they have a stable source of produce for their family as well as a source of income. Some 4,000 other young farmers in Kenya have benefited from information from the Growing Futures program.
“We are extremely proud of our partnership with Farm Africa and have worked closely with the charity since 2016 to improve prospects for young people in the region while developing sustainable farming techniques,” Fritz Walleczek, Managing Director of Corporate Responsibility, said.“Our partnership aligns with the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals and is part of our work to support ethical and sustainable international supply chains. Aldi is always looking for ways to limit impacts on the environment and we look forward to continuing working with Farm Africa over the next two years.”
Farm Africa has been able to set up demonstration plots to show farmers how best to sow seeds and care for their growing produce. It also provides seed funds for starting profitable agri-businesses, helping farmers gain training in financial literacy, credit management, business planning and how to achieve certification.
In November 2018, green beans harvested by farmers in the town of Kitale went on sale in 10 Aldi stores across the Midlands in specially branded packs.
Much of the profit generated by farmers is invested in household needs such as school fees, additional food, and medicine, resulting in an overall improvement in household wellbeing as well as improved financial security and nutrition.
“We are delighted to be extending our partnership with Aldi for a further two years. Penny Ruszczynski, Head of Corporate Partnerships at Farm Africa, said. “This new phase of Growing Futures will reach more farmers in Kenya and help us to ensure that Farm Africa’s work can have a far-reaching, long-term impact.”
The partnership was shortlisted for a Better Society Award in 2019.