To commemorate World Environment Day, held on 5 June each year, we visited Tembisa where we planted trees and learned about climate change with the Italtile Group and the Africa Climate Reality Programme (ACRP).
5,100 trees have been bedded down nationally since July 2017, through the commitment of Konica Minolta South Africa (KMSA), a division of Bidvest Office (Pty) Ltd, to environmental sustainability. For KMSA, every day is indeed World Environment Day.
These 5,100 trees will offset a whopping 1,881 tonnes of CO2 in their lifetime whilst contributing to an improved environment – providing all the benefits that trees provide. Ritchi Smith of Konica Minolta South Africa comments, “We should be concerned with our environmental impact every day, and that’s what KMSA is committed to do.”
The market gardens supported by Shoprite South Africa were recently featured on CGTN Africa's Global Business Show. Watch the video to learn more about the impact we have been working so hard to achieve.
On the 9th of May 2018 a Volunteer Day was held at Minerva High School located in Alexandra, Gauteng with Cummins South Africa. Upon arrival Cummins received warm welcome from the pupils and staff at Minerva High School. Cummins has been supporting Minerva High School for over 2 years ago and still continue to support them through FTFA.
10 short-term food garden projects supported by Tiger Brands and Food and Trees for Africa have come to an end. We are happy with their progress, which will see their gardens go through the winter. We have encouraged the gardeners to apply for further further support.
On the other hand, the 7 long-term projects are still continuing and are seeing infrastructure improvements.
It was a bountiful harvest on the 18th of May when staff from Oricol Environmental Services visited Emmangweni Primary School in Tembisa for a volunteer day. Oricol staff volunteered to work in the garden together with the Emmangweni learners and staff on the day.
On the 8th of May schools in Needscamp, Potsdam and Mdantsane (near East London) excitedly received deliveries of fruit and indigenous shade trees for planting on their properties. The following day, 9th May, staff from the East London Konica Minolta South Africa (KMSA), a division of Bidvest Office (Pty) Ltd, visited the area to assist in planting the trees.
Rustenburg – May 2018 – The 2nd of May was an exciting day for the 1,349 students of Kloofview Primary School, Rustenburg. The learners gathered for a special tree planting assembly - about trees and how to plant them. Konica Minolta South Africa (KMSA), a division of Bidvest Office (Pty) Ltd, donated 40 trees to the school. Staff volunteers from the KMSA Rustenburg branch joined the school to assist with the tree planting on the day. Sipho Mathe from Food & Trees for Africa (FTFA) led the tree planting demonstration where learners were taught how to plant a tree the ‘FTFA’ way. The learners, teachers and KMSA staff busily planted as many of the trees as possible – a total of 28 were planted on the day.
In April 2018 Food & Trees for Africa launched our first gardens for Homes project with Tiger Brands in Mohlakeng. We have partnered with Tiger Brands to work at the St John the Divine Orphanage in the area over the last 10 months. The initial work done has focused on scaling up the centre's existing food garden to ensure they can begin to supplement the feeding scheme. In addition, 2000 trees have been distributed to local community members to improve environmental conditions, provide fruit, and generate buy-in on the community level for the work St John the Divine does.
This month, 8 schools in the Knysna, George and Plettenberg Bay region will receive indigenous shade and fruit trees donated by Konica Minolta South Africa (KMSA). The schools were identified by Food & Trees for Africa (FTFA) as requiring indigenous shade trees following the devastating fires in the region in 2017. On the 20th of March 2018, KMSA staff will plant trees at Concordia High School, together with pupils and school staff, to kick off tree planting in the region.
The Department of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries in partnership with the South African National Biodiversity Institute, Food & Trees for Africa and other role-players will host a seminar on the International Day of Forests under the theme “Forests and Sustainable Cities”. The seminar is held to focus on highlighting the key role of forests in our society as well as to encourage public participation in forestry related initiatives such as greening.
In 2017 a total of 98 trees were donated through MySchool donations to Food & Trees for Africa. These trees were allocated to four schools around Johannesburg, who received a combination of fruit and indigenous shade trees. Learners got involved in planting the trees and were really excited to contribute to the greening of their school grounds. Refhitile Primary in Shoshaguve received fruit trees only, to establish an orchard on the property.
JOHANNESBURG – 9th March 2018 – In the build-up to the International Day of the Forests 2018, Food & Trees for Africa (FTFA) will be breaking ground on the organisation’s first urban food forest. 1000 trees have been committed by the South African National Department of Agriculture Forestry and Fisheries (DAFF), for the benefit of the Evaton, Sebokeng and Orange Farm community members. 20 of these trees will be planted on the 9th of March, as FTFA, DAFF and local community members break ground on the Food Forest at Letsema Illima Primary School in Evaton. The remaining 980 trees will be donated to pre-identified local farmers and schools, who will use the trees to start food forests on their premises.
On the 8th of February 2018 the Nelson Mandela Foundation together with Keith Kirsten launched the Mandela Rose, developed in honour of our late president. It was a moving day at the Nelson Mandela Centre of Memory, where struggle stalwarts, friends and family packed into the auditorium to reflect on Tata Madiba’s legacy.
In 2017, Tiger Brands reached out to Food & Trees for Africa. After community development meetings held in March, vegetable gardens and tree planting initiatives were planned for the year ahead. These initiatives are designed to address food security, carbon sequestration and community greening.
Since then, FTFA has assessed 22 of Tiger Brands’ NGO partner organisations across the country. Our Food Gardens Department then implemented Permaculture Starter Packs (PSP1’s) at 8 selected community food gardens, after which an additional 9 sites were included. These are being implemented this year (2018).
In celebration of October’s World Food Day, a volunteer cohort of over 200 employees from Woolies stores across the country rolled up their sleeves and went to work with learners in ten schools’ permaculture food gardens. As part of the Woolworths Employee Community Involvement Programme, this initiative recognised the importance of local, sustainably-produced, good food and helped these schools take their food gardens to the next level.
8728 Trees Planted this Arbor Month by ABSA Vehicle Asset Finance JOHANNESBURG - September 29, 2017 – At Food & Trees for Africa (FTFA) we are marking the end of Arbor Month (September) with a massive drive to plant trees in Ekhuruleni, Gauteng. To assist customers who are in the market for a new car to make an environmentally friendly choice, Absa Vehicle and Asset Finance became the first auto financer to offer green vehicle finance in August 2011.
Arbor Month – Greening South Africa by planting 1810 trees with Konica Minolta South Africa JOHANNESBURG – September 01, 2017 - In September, Konica Minolta South Africa (KMSA), a division of Bidvest Office (Pty) Ltd., and Food & Trees for Africa (FTFA), committed to plant 1810 trees in three different provinces across South Africa. Trees will be planted at schools, clinics and community centres in Johannesburg, Newcastle and Polokwane. Johannesburg will see the planting of 900 trees - both Newcastle and Polokwane have been allocated 455 trees each, to be planted at identified beneficiaries.
14,137 Trees and Counting - Planting a Legacy this Arbor Month - 2017 – Food & Trees for Africa JOHANNESBURG - September 01 2017 - The 1st of September, Arbor Day, will see Food & Trees for Africa (FTFA) and their partners planting trees at five schools across four provinces in South Africa. This is the beginning of a month of intensive planting where at least 14,137 trees will be planted across the country. We encouraged all individuals, organisations and businesses to “Plant a Legacy” with us this Arbor month - and they have stepped up to the challenge. Despite these commitments we have almost 2000 schools on our national database waiting to receive trees, and are encouraging those who have not yet made a donation, to do so.
Tiger Brands approached FTFA in 2017, to assist with food garden training and support for 8 community feeding schemes which Tiger Brands supports. The training has focused on introducing participants to natural farming methods, and jump starting existing vegetable gardens to maximise production. The permaculture aspects which have been covered work towards ensuring sustainability of these projects. To support the training, resources are provided and include: educational posters, seeds, fruit trees, compost, seedlings, tools and The Growing Green book.
Eventually we hope to work with these community groups to start supplying their feeding schemes with fresh and nutritious vegetables.