Economic & Social Impact in Rural Africa
FairWild Certification & Why It Matters
Our Baobab Fruit Powder is FairWild certified. Why is that important? Consumers are increasingly demanding proof of sustainability, traceability and ethical sourcing. According to research from The Center for Food Integrity, one-quarter of U.S. consumers are actively engaged in online conversations about responsible food sourcing. But how can food and beverage brands prove that their ingredients are ethical? This is where FairWild Certification comes in. For the past 10 years, FairWild has been the global certification for fair trading standards in wild-harvested crops. But perhaps most importantly it provides an absolute guarantee to both brands and their consumers that they are supporting an ethically sourced product. Baobab Fruit is a great example of such a product. Through FairWild Certification, it ticks all the ethical boxes and provides a wonderful backstory as well.
Established over 10 years ago in response to the demand from consumers to understand their impact on people and planet, FairWild is the only independently audited standard that explicitly measures and combines the biodiversity impacts of wild-harvesting with grassroots Fair Trade principles. Every year FairWild inspectors annually undertake thorough and detailed on-site assessments of both sustainability and fair trading conditions of our Baobab operation. Through their independent third-party assessment, FairWild Certification allows our bulk Baobab customers to be able to prove to consumers that their Baobab Fruit Powder is responsibly and ethical sourced.
Creating Sustainable Incomes
Organic Certification & Fair Pricing
The Baobab tree grows in dry regions of sub-Saharan Africa which are generally less agriculturally productive due to their meagre soils and risk of drought. These harsh environmental conditions make the poorest communities in these areas particularly vulnerable. Growing vegetables or crops during a drought is hardly possible at all and aside from agricultural production these communities do not have many opportunities to generate income. This makes the trade in Baobab Fruit especially handy. Unlike cotton or other capital and resource intensive agricultural products, the Baobab tree is a frugal contemporary and is able to survive completely naturally - despite its size - on very little water and nutrients. Also harvesting Baobab fruit requires no additional labour input, expensive technical equipment or capital. Only the workforce of collectors and their time is needed to collect the fruit.
In the poorer regions of Zimbabwe and South Africa, it is mainly women who benefit from the additional income through Baobab. Often they are responsible for taking care of their children because they are either single parents or the men cannot live with their families due to working obligations elsewhere. The extra income allows them to pay for school fees, additional food or household items.
We are committed to improving the situation of people in the poorer regions of Zimbabwe and South Africa. Our suppliers have ensured that their collection areas have received organic certification. This is beneficial for the marketing aspects of products and pays out for the farmers in other ways as well. The organic certification does not refer specifically to the Baobab trees themselves, but rather to the land on which the trees grow on. This means that once that land is certified, other products such as vegetables or other wild fruit can be grown and sold by local communities as organic produce.
However, harvesters must adhere to strict certification criteria, otherwise they lose the certificate. In order to meet the requirements for certification and to benefit most from it, our suppliers organise regular trainings and workshops for registered smallholder farmers and collectors.
The harvesters have formed cooperatives which allow them better negotiating positions for the prices of their products. They are guaranteed a minimum price as a safety net to shield them from any downward fluctuations in “normal” market prices which may occasionally fall below the minimum price. Upon selling their product the fruit collectors also receive additional premium funds which they can use for community investments such as kindergartens, community halls, hospitals or the like.