Aldi extends Farm Africa partnership

Aldi has extended its partnership with Farm Africa for a further two years to support young farmers in rural western Kenya to boost resilience to climate change and improve the quality of their fresh produce, making their farming businesses more sustainable.

Since it began in 2016, the ‘Growing Futures’ partnership has reached over 500 young farmers, helping them to increase production of fresh produce and develop links to local and international markets. This means that they now have a stable source of vegetables for their family as well as a source of income. Learnings from the partnership have also been shared with around 4,000 other young farmers in Kenya, maximising its impact.

Aldi’s funding has enabled Farm Africa to set up demonstration plots to show farmers how best to sow seeds and care for their growing produce. Farm Africa also provides seed funds for starting profitable agri-businesses, and gives farmers training on financial literacy, credit management, business planning and how to achieve certification, so that they are able to supply green beans internationally.

In November 2018, green beans harvested by farmers in the town of Kitale went on sale in ten Aldi stores across the Midlands in specially-branded packs.

Much of the profit generated by farmers is invested in household needs such as school fees, additional food, and medicine, resulting in an overall improvement in household wellbeing as well as improved financial security and nutrition.

The partnership was shortlisted for a Better Society Award in 2019.

Fritz Walleczek, managing director of corporate responsibility, said: “We are extremely proud of our partnership with Farm Africa and have worked closely with the charity since 2016 to improve prospects for young people in the region while developing sustainable farming techniques.

“Our partnership aligns with the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals and is part of our work to support ethical and sustainable international supply chains. Aldi is always looking for ways to limit impacts on the environment and we look forward to continuing working with Farm Africa over the next two years.”

Penny Ruszczynski, head of corporate partnerships at Farm Africa, said: “We are delighted to be extending our partnership with Aldi for a further two years. It was the first UK supermarket to directly fund one of our projects and the partnership has given us a brilliant opportunity to bring about real change for rural communities in Kenya, as well as increasing awareness about Farm Africa in the UK. This new phase of Growing Futures will reach more farmers in Kenya and help us to ensure that Farm Africa’s work can have a far-reaching, long-term impact.”