Since launching their innovative OneFarm Share initiative in response to the acute food crisis caused by Covid-19 lockdowns, Standard Bank has contributed greatly to the variety and tonnage of food we are able to distribute. At the end of April 2021, FoodForward SA has distributed more than 700 tons of fresh produce (the equivalent of 2,8 million meals) through the OneFarm Share initiative.
OneFarm Share matches requests for food relief to smallholder – and emerging farmers and food processors with excess fresh produce and provides a reliable, trusted, channel for them to donate their surplus food to help overcome hunger and poverty. The platform allows corporate donors and the public to help too.
Standard Bank partnered with HelloChoice, a South African agri-tech company with a digital fresh produce marketplace and selected FoodForward SA as its beneficiary, due to our national infrastructural capacity. OneFarm Share was piloted between November 2020 and January 2021 and resulted in the distribution of 270 tons of fresh produce (nearly 1 million meals) to vulnerable beneficiaries in Kwa-Zulu Natal and the Free State during this period. Since February 2021, the project has expanded to the southern Eastern Cape, Gauteng, Limpopo, Mpumalanga and the North-West.
Yolanda Makhanya, FoodForward SA’s branch manager at our Durban branch, has been closely involved with OneFarm Share’s pilot phase. “It was great working with Grant Jacobs, CEO of HelloChoice, and his team to find operational solutions during the pilot, in preparation for the national roll-out. Streamlining delivery schedules, solutions to weighing produce and capacity issues were discussed at weekly meetings that included the Standard Bank, HelloChoice and FoodForward SA teams,” says Yolanda.
“Our beneficiary organisations are over the moon with the variety of produce they receive which helps them provide nutritious meals. This includes, for example, onions, amadumbe, sweet potato, pumpkin and even brinjal. Apart from the fresh produce, our beneficiary organisations also receive staple food items such as samp, maize and protein-rich legumes, which the farmers deliver directly to our warehouses or to our mobile rural depots for FFSA trucks to deliver back to our warehouses.””
We are looking forward to the final roll-out of the OneFarm Share initiative to the Western and Northern Cape in June so that our beneficiary organisations residing in these provinces may also benefit from this amazing initiative.
Thank you, Standard Bank and HelloChoice, for your partnership. We are immensely grateful for the opportunity that it provides us, to address food insecurity and the Sustainable Development Goals in a very practical yet innovative way.