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Waitrose & Partners Foundation

Photo: Adrienne Pitts Photo: Adrienne Pitts

Our partnership

Waitrose & Partners Foundation wants to create better livelihoods for employees and their families, creating stronger communities and sustainable supply chains around the world. Since 2017, Farm Africa has worked with the Foundation to make their vision a reality, supporting those that grow, pick and pack Waitrose & Partners’ fresh produce in Kenya.

Farm Africa is helping to improve the livelihoods of 12,000 employees across seven vegetable and flower farms in the Waitrose & Partners supply chain by managing a series of projects that are funded by sales of Foundation produce and supplier farms in the UK.

What are we doing?

The project focuses on five key areas, with ideas for activities coming directly from committees of farm workers:

HEALTH AND WELLBEING

Farmers and their families are benefitting from improved health facilities that can cater for their physical, emotional and mental wellbeing.

Nutrition gardens are being established in the workers’ residences as a sustainable means of providing residents with fresh produce. This will improve the diets of 1,500 workers and their households.

SUPPORTING LEARNING

New learning centres are being built to give farm workers leadership and management skills. School feeding programmes have also started among schools affiliated with supply chain farms and are providing pupils with regular healthy meals.

ENVIRONMENT AND GREEN ENERGY

Farm workers will have easy access to solar-powered household products. This will include the introduction of safer and more efficient cooking fuel and energy-saving stoves at discounted or accessible payment models.

WATER AND SANITATION

We are supporting the introduction of water purification technology at supplier farms to ensure over 4,500 workers and their households have access to clean drinking water.  We also plan to introduce simple water filtering technology that can be used by farmers at home.

ACCESS TO FINANCE

Farm Africa has worked with a supplier to introduce a micro-lending scheme based on mobile technology across all the farms meaning that farm workers have access to small loans, which they are using to pay for household costs like medical and school needs, but also to establish small businesses.

Over 10,000 workers will benefit from this facility, with over Ksh 50 million being disbursed to workers. Repayment will happen over a period of time, ensuring that workers can access money when needed and repay during periods of recovery.

A total of 51 village saving and loan associations have already been formed in seven farms. As of December 2019, 599 members are benefitting from these associations.

From April 2020 Farm Africa also helped to deliver a package of additional support from the Waitrose & Partners Foundation to help farm workers on Waitrose supplier farms in Kenya navigate the current crisis caused by COVID-19.

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