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Kilimanjaro Climb total soars to quarter of a million pounds!

14 October 2011

The team triumphantly unfurls its banner at Uhuru Peak at the top of Mt Kilimanjaro

Ten senior executives from the UK food sector have reacted with delight to news they have raised a quarter of a million pounds for the charity Farm Africa, following the team’s gruelling charity climb of Mount Kilimanjaro in Tanzania.

The huge total raised so far is way in excess of the sum the team expected to raise for the charity which works with farmers and their communities in eastern Africa to tackle poverty and hunger.

The team included Tim Smith (Chief Executive of the UK’s Food Standards Agency); Mike Coupe (Group Commercial Director at Sainsbury’s); and Richard Macdonald (Non-Executive Director at Moy Park and Dairy Crest and a former Director General of the National Farmers Union).

Responding to news of the team’s overhauling of the £250,000 mark, Richard Macdonald said:

“I am thrilled the UK food industry and friends have managed to raise so much money. Climbing Kilimanjaro was tough but this is way beyond our expectations. All the money goes to Farm Africa, a great cause, showing one end of the food chain supporting the other.” 

The team was determined to demonstrate the UK food sector’s strong support for African smallholder farmers who are such a vital link in the global food supply chain, and who are presently vulnerable to drought and increased lack of rainfall.

The money the team has raised will help underpin Farm Africa’s work in transforming smallholder farmers across eastern Africa from subsistence level farmers into rural entrepreneurs. Farm Africa is achieving this through enhancing farmers’ linkages to markets and through provision of drought-tolerant seeds that enable farmers to deliver increased yields in increasingly arid conditions.

Expressing the charity’s gratitude to the Food Sector team, Farm Africa’s Director of Fundraising and Communications, Pam Williams-Jones, said:

Farm Africa is incredibly proud of the expedition team’s achievement in raising such an impressive amount to fund our work in supporting African farmers.

 “And what a fantastic team effort in training and taking on this epic journey to help raise awareness for the communities we work with. On behalf of those communities Farm Africa offers its congratulations and heartfelt thanks for the staggering quarter of a million pounds raised so far. Thank you.”

It is still possible to sponsor the team. Information is available at: http://uk.virginmoneygiving.com/foodforafrica

Photos of the team, including summit photos, are available on request.

The team’s blog site with updates and images from the mountain is available at: http://www.kiliclimb-farmafrica.org.uk/

Ends

For further information please contact:

Ngaio Bowthorpe, Head of Communications at Farm Africa
Farm Africa, Clifford's Inn, Fetter Lane, London, EC4A 1BZ
Direct line: +44 (0)20 7067 1252 Switchboard: +44 (0)20 7430 0440

Matt Whitticase, Communications Officer at Farm Africa.
Farm Africa, Clifford's Inn, Fetter Lane, London, EC4A 1BZ
Direct line: +44 (0)20 7067 1237 Mobile: +44 (0)7515 788456 Switchboard: +44 (0)20 7430 0440

The team:

Mark Carr, Group Chief Executive, AB Sugar
Mike Coupe, Group Commercial Director, J Sainsbury’s
Nigel Dunlop, CEO Moy Park and NED Warburtons
Iain Ferguson, NED Greggs plc, Balfour Beatty plc, Berendsen plc and former CEO Tate and Lyle
Andrew Cracknell, Director Anglo Beef Processors
Richard Macdonald, NED Moy Park, Dairy Crest Foods and former Director General NFU
Martyn Wilks, Executive Managing Director Dairy Crest Foods
Charles Reed, Group Managing Director, William Reed Business Media
Tim Smith, Chief Executive Food Standards Agency
Julian Marks, Managing Director, Barfoots of Botley Ltd

Notes to Editor:

Farm Africa is supporting African smallholder farmers to lift themselves out of poverty. As technical experts they ensure farmers are equipped with quality seeds and the most innovative planting and irrigation techniques, helping farmers to maximise their food yields. And just as importantly, they help link farmers to markets, ensuring that surpluses can be sold at the highest price. This approach helps African families to build long-term income, effectively breaking long-standing cycles of poverty.

Eighty per cent of all African families still rely on the food they grow and the animals they keep to survive. In times of low rainfall and poor harvests, the consequences can be severe: families are often forced to survive on just one meal a day and all too often are unable to send their children to school.