March 10 2010
In the corporate world there’s no such thing as a free lunch. But in philanthropy circles, while you won’t get something for nothing, you can do much good by giving relatively little. The cost of a jar of jam, for example. Fairtrade food company Yozuna’s exotic new condiment, from the fruit of the African baobab tree, aims at once to titillate British buyers’ palates and stimulate international trade.
“Baobabs are abundant, and the fruit they bear yields a surprisingly tangy jam, great on toast or teamed with melted camembert,” says Malawi-born founder of Yozuna, Malcolm Riley. By serving up this novel import, Yozuna – working with Phytotrade Africa, a non-profit association that facilitates links between African suppliers and export buyers – positions itself as a component in the infrastructure that’s improving the lives of the impoverished Malawians who gather in the fruit.
Phytotrade cites 1.9m households throughout southern Africa as currently involved in the baobab supply chain; the UK’s Natural Resources Institute estimates that number could climb to as many as 2.5m if trade is further stimulated overseas.