CATERERS, CHEFS and retailers have joined forces in a bid to end hunger in Africa. Sainsbury’s, Compass, The Co-operative and Marks and Spencer are among the initial sponsors of “Food for Good”, a new campaign being run by charity Farm Africa.
The businesses will come together to work alongside Farm Africa with small-holder farmers in eastern Africa, providing them the tools and technical skills to grow enough food for their families. As they produce more, they will link the farmers to markets so they can move beyond subsistence towards greater financial security, selling surplus to generate household income for school and health expenses.
Farm Africa works “not with hand-outs of aid, but by increasing rural prosperity from the ground up”, explained chief executive Nigel Harris. “We greatly welcome the support of the UK food and hospitality industry for our approach in overcoming hunger,” he added.
Last year, as part of the programme, Michelin-starred UK chef Ashley Palmer-Watts visited a fish-farm in Kisumu, Kenya where Farm Africa’s “Aqua shops” project is helping fish farmers to provide more affordable fish to the local population. Almost 60% of households are dependent on fish, either directly or indirectly, as a source of food or income.
“I was lucky enough to see a Farm Africa fish-farming project in Kenya which showed me just how much it makes a difference – in a simple and sensible way it set people up to take care of their own future,” said Palmer-Watts, who will be climbing Mount Kilimanjaro with other top chefs this year to raise more awareness.
“In this industry we live in a privileged world and that’s why it is so important to do everything we can for this great cause.”
The Food and Drink Federation president, Jim Moseley, agreed: “In 2013, our world is truly one of global connections and all of us in the UK food industry are a vital link in the chain from farmer to table.
“With this role comes an important responsibility to join together as a sector to fight hunger and show that there can be a better and sustainable future for the millions of men, women and children who go to bed hungry each and every night.”