Let's get REEL!
McCain South Africa has joined forces with non-profit organisation, Reel Life, to implement an ambitious agricultural skills development project, aimed at bolstering long-term food security for underserved communities. Since its inception, the project has supported over 500 households, 250 in Delmas and 250 in Springs, as part of the business' overarching Thriving Communities strategy. This sustainability pillar aims to foster inclusive, local economies through targeted development programmes, donations, and volunteering efforts.
From seeds to sustenance
Monako Dibetle, Head of Sustainability and Communications at McCain, explains, "As part of the programme, each household receives a Garden-in-a-Box containing 12 seed packets and a watering spout, tailored to the specific season and local climate. Additionally, they are provided with a monthly package containing four diverse seed varieties - just four of these monthly packages are adequate to sustainably nourish a family of four for an entire year."
Dineo Mahasha, Managing Director of Reel Gardening, highlights the significance of the partnership with McCain, stating, "Since the programme's inception two years ago, Reel Life has empowered numerous women and youth community champions, reaching out to over 48,500 households. These champions engage in door-to-door teaching, educating households about cultivating their own vegetables to ensure long-term food security."
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Mahasha further highlights the upcoming phase for Garden-in-a-Box, which involves a comprehensive train-the-trainer programme, designed to deliver practical training within communities and focused on educating households about income generation on a larger scale.
"Our ultimate goal is to cultivate sustainable 'agri-preneurs' who can serve as local produce suppliers for major retailers. We provide them with training in sustainable farming practices, emphasising techniques that consume 80% less water and incorporate grey or recycled water. In certain communities, where land is communal, we encourage collaborative planting in designated areas. In addition, one of our ongoing projects involves the transformation of waste disposal sites into thriving vegetable gardens, fostering both environmental sustainability and community welfare.McCain has been invested in this programme from the outset and is a brand that genuinely prioritises the improvement of the communities where it operates. It's been a pleasure to partner with a corporate that cares about people.”
From the perspective of McCain South Africa as a family business, Dibetle emphasises the fundamental belief that all families should have the opportunity to share mealtimes together and access nutritious food, "Our business acknowledges its responsibility to offer support, drive change, and take meaningful action."
Looking ahead, Dibetle eagerly anticipates witnessing how the partnership with Reel Life will continue to bring about positive transformations within communities, while simultaneously empowering agricultural champions.