Our Baobab supplier in Zimbabwe.
I met Gus, one of the founders of PhytoTrade Africa and the founder of B’Ayova last April. He is such a wonderful character and we hope to take loads of videos when we visit Zimbabwe one day for you guys!
You probably have heard about the effects of drought in the country as it hit the news in 2016 when a quarter of the population faced food shortages. Now, drought is nothing new in the country, but it is getting worse due to the effects of climate change. When I worked with Practical Action, our Zimbabwe projects almost always were supporting livelihoods in the face of drought. We did this through creating innovative mechanisms to cope with climate change, such as new technologies, weather surveillance systems and agricultural extension work. Whilst also providing training in livelihood diversification and skill training, such as food preservation and processing for mothers (see here for a good video on some brilliant projects). So when I had the chance to source baobab from Zimbabwe I was more than a bit excited! I knew B’Ayoba were going to do an excellent job working with rural baobab collectors. Baobab trees grow in some of the most drought stricken regions of Zimbabwe, so through collecting baobab, rural collectors can more than double their income when they need it most!
B’Ayoba have been working with around 10,000 baobab collectors each year since 2014 (it’s probably grown by now but I don’t have the exact figures for last year!). They now export baobab to Europe and America and you can even find their baobab in the Organic Herb Trading and Yeo Valley limited edition Vanilla & Baobab yoghurt and Premium skincare brand Auriela probiotic skincare products- cool eh?
Below is a brilliant video of Gus showing us around the supply chain and it even has a wonderful bird’s eye view of our processing centre in Somerset where we blend all of our wonderful blends together! Then it goes onto show you how Yeo Valley have made a Baobab & Vanilla yoghurt with it. I’ve tasted it. It’s amazing and still available! (try it! I wish it contained more baobab in though! I felt the taste could of come through more!)
We could not be happier to support B’Ayoba. By working in partnership there are more opportunities for empowerment- socially and politically. As networks of support grow we have the chance to make a real change for people living in rural drought stricken areas.
Did you know? We import all of our B’Ayoba baobab by ship. Not air. This is so much more environmentally friendly! If we have to import food then we should do it consciously!!!
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