More farming communities across the globe will benefit directly from customer purchases thanks to Waitrose & Partners Foundation (WPF), which recently launches in Senegal and The Gambia.
Having source produced from The Gambia since 1995 and Senegal from 2010, the introduction of Foundation will mean that funding accrued from sales of fruit and vegetables in Waitrose & Partners stores will now go back to the farming communities in these countries that grew and picked them – with the contributions officially starting from February 1st.
This means that for every item with a Foundation logo on it, including butternut, green beans, salad onions and mango, Waitrose & Partners will give 2% of the sales back to farming communities in Senegal and The Gambia that supplied them.
The money raised will be used to address the needs voiced directly by workers and their communities, with WPF working in collaboration with local charities and residents to select and support initiatives that will benefit farmers, their families and whole communities.
Through open communication with people living on the ground in these countries, WPF will help improve the quality of life for whole communities, funding crucial development projects such as investment in classrooms and quality education, training in community farming, or potentially even setting up radios in communities of extremely high illiteracy rates.
Rob Collins, partner and managing director of Waitrose, comments: “The Waitrose & Partners Foundation is increasingly important to us as we focus on being the best 5% of the market. It not only enables us to give back to communities that need it, through it, we build stronger relationships with our overseas growers and build strong, secure supply chains to ensure the highest quality produce.”
Beverly Dixon, HR director for G’s Fresh, a key supplier of produce to Waitrose & Partners, comments on the benefits to locals in Senegal.
“Working with the Waitrose & Partners Foundation means we have greater opportunity to support the wider community of Ngnith in Senegal, from where we grow our winter salad onions and radish,” he said.
“Together we are able to increase the funding to further develop local education, health and farming expertise, which are of significant benefit to improving the wellbeing of the community,” Ms Dixon said.