The Food Retail Industry Challenge Fund, also known as FRICH, is run by the Department for International Development (DFID) . The fund helps bring UK retailers and African farmers together to help improve the longer term prosperity of their farms .
It’s all about innovation, new ways of doing things, looking at economic and social sustainability. LEAF, in partnership with Waitrose , Green Shoots, British & Brazilian, Blue Skies, Sunripe and Wealmoor have been working with sub-Saharan African farmers now for just over a year
Our project is all about supporting African farmers to learn more about sustainable farming , improve their yields and increase the income they earn from their crops. We’ve been travelling to Kenya and offering practical training in soil and water management, energy use and crop protection. We’re also encouraging them to become LEAF Marque certified which will help them secure valuable contracts with UK retailers.
One of the farmers we’ve been working with is Anthony Mucheke. Anthony is a green bean farmer in Kenya and it has been hard for him to to make enough money to support his family because of the fluctuations in the market
Green bean farming helps the community in lots of ways. In the past, the produce buyers were only interested in the quality and safety of the beans. But now, through our involvement with FRICH, we have a partnership with a European company and they’re really interested in the quality of the land and the life of the community, as well as the quality of the beans and peas.
– Anthony Mucheke, Green bean farmer, Kenya
The FRICH project really addresses these issues and helps farmers to farm in a more sustainable way, whilst giving them the credentials that will help them secure and maintain contracts with retailers, which in turn, brings much needed resources back into the local community. It’s a project that we’re really proud to be involved in.