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Formidable Women on the Board of FoodForward SA

During Women’s Month, we shine the spotlight on the very important role that our woman board members play in leading FoodForward SA. Board diversity is not only about “doing the right thing” but is also good for business.

Diversity matters

Incorporating diversity into the board is not only “doing the thing right”, but it is the “right thing to do”, having been found to be critical for business innovation and growth with the most diverse workplaces demonstrating a more innovative mindset than less diverse companies. One can certainly deduce this by looking at the composition of FoodForward SA’s board of directors, whereby 50% of the members are women. Bringing diversity into the board means that there are diverse views, skill sets, and experiences from which to draw.

No food security without food safety

Namhla Skweyiya became a FoodForward SA Board Director in 2017. What motivated her was the opportunity to use her skills and knowledge in food safety to benefit those in need. As a food safety practitioner, Namhla firmly believes that food safety is paramount for FoodForward SA’s credibility with donors, partners and communities at large. Says Namhla: “Companies that donate food and supplies need to trust that we will handle and distribute their products safely. Working together with the operations team at FFSA, my food safety skill set has contributed to crafting a food safety standard operating procedure that guides the beneficiaries and our warehouse operators on best practices for receiving, handling, storing, and transporting our donated foods so that it remains fit for human consumption. As an organisation, our warehouses and beneficiary premises are independently audited for food safety compliance and my contribution is also to interpret the audit findings and assist where necessary to improve food safety standards.”

According to the Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO), access to safe and nutritious food is a basic human right. Food security is achieved when people have physical and economic access to food that meets their dietary needs for an active and healthy life. Food safety plays a critical role across the four dimensions of food security – availability, access, utilisation, and stability. While a nutritious and adequate food supply is essential, when food is unsafe, it poses a health risk from foodborne illnesses, that can have deleterious effects on health and nutrition by impairing nutrient absorption, growth, and development. This is especially important in most nutritionally vulnerable populations, including infants and young children, pregnant women, the elderly and immunocompromised individuals.

We are grateful for board members such as Namhla, who bring their skills and very relevant expertise, viz food safety, to FoodForward SA.

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