Self Help Africa subsidiaries
ethical audits for clients, and undertook
14 advisory assignments for companies, in
2021. PA estimates that their work improved
conditions for over 131,000 workers employed
in international supply chains.
From Farm to Market
In 2021, COVID-19 continued to cause disruption to the lives and livelihoods of smallholder farmers. There were also challenges in accessing approved COVID- 19 vaccines, disruptions to supply chains and changing consumer spending patterns – all of which continued to impact TruTrade’s approach.
The organisation was determined to overcome the negative impact of COVID-19 and did some restructuring. To improve the way it sourced produce, reduce its costs, decrease its carbon footprint and reduce its reliance on third party millers, TruTrade pivoted away from sourcing paddy rice, which was costly. Instead, it began pilot testing milling rice with communities and buying milled, or pure, rice from smallholder farmers. In the longer term, this will mean better prices for farmers and better access to their rice milling by-products.
TruTrade has proved an essential link between the smallholder producer and the commercial buyer and business continuity is central to its operations.
In 2021, the company sourced 1,248 metric tonnes of produce across Kenya and Uganda - 500 metric tonnes more than in 2020.
Partner Africa, which marked its 10th anniversary in 2021, remains the only non-government organisation on the continent to conduct ethical audits designed to improve conditions for workers, and provide advisory services to employers.
Partner Africa has developed a niche in the field of ethical business and human rights, playing an important role in improving working conditions in Africa. Its main clients include international businesses and multinational enterprises, Africa-based suppliers and producers, and non-governmental organisations. With expertise spanning several sectors, including agriculture and horticulture, manufacturing, and extractives such as mining and oil, the company is now looking to expand into the fish processing sector.
In spite of the challenges caused by COVID-19 2021 has been a constructive year for Partner Africa and a period where we were able to ‘build back better’. Partner Africa generated an income in excess of £1.9m.
In 2021 we conducted 909 ethical audits and 14 advisory assignments. We estimate, that through these programmes, we improved the working conditions of over 131,000 workers employed in international supply chains in Africa. We also trained and built the capacity of over 300 local suppliers to help improve social and environmental standards in farms and factories throughout Africa.
PA conducted ethical audits that assessed working conditions by gathering the experiences of farm and factory workers in Africa who were part of export chains to the UK, EU and the US. The audits were carried out by local people with the relevant skills who received training in social audits to ensure local language, culture and tradition were acknowledged when carrying out the audits.
The company’s Board of Directors commissioned Self Help Africa’s Head of Monitoring and Evaluation to undertake a ten year review of Partner Africa’s work. This sought to assess the financial, social and environmental impact that the organisation has made over the past decade.
The report concluded that Partner Africa’s work was making a positive contribution to ensuring better employment standards, work practices, and working conditions across a wide range of business sectors.
The GEA provides a collaborative platform to support and facilitate large scale environmental restoration and sustainable agricultural intensification – with the goal of increasing biodiversity and both mitigating and adapting to the impacts of climate change on a globally significant scale.
The Global Evergreening Alliance promotes nature-based approaches – such as evergreening and regenerative agriculture – and is committed to achieving this in collaboration with local communities. The GEA’s members believe that this approach will lead to more productive and resilient landscapes and agricultural systems, and provide small scale farmer, pastoralist, and forest dependent communities with improved and diversified livelihoods. It aims to foster a ‘green’ rural economic growth, by creating an agriculture sector that produces zero net greenhouse gas emissions.
The Alliance is committed to supporting its member organisations, interested governments and donors, and assisting small-scale farming, pastoralist and forest-dependent communities to restore degraded landscapes and improve the sustainability, productivity, equity and profitability of agricultural systems.
Furthermore, it seeks to foster the development of the EverGreening The Earth campaign, to facilitate grassroots movements around the world to adopt agroforestry practices such as Farmer Managed Natural Regeneration (FMNR), to mitigate the effects of climate change.
In 2022 the Global Evergreening Alliance secured the first tranche of a US$150m financing package from Climate Asset Management, to kick start ‘Restore Africa’, an initiative that aims to restore 1.9 million hectares of land and directly support 1.5 million smallholder farming families, across six African countries – Kenya, Ethiopia, Malawi, Tanzania, Uganda, and Zambia. Self Help Africa will be a partner in implementing this work.
Two Self Help Africa representatives sit on the Strategic Advisory Committee of the Global Evergreening Alliance.