Seeds of Change Supplier Development Programme
In 2021, Food Lover’s Market partnered with Social Enterprise Academy to introduce social enterprises into their supply chain to support poverty alleviation and food insecurity in South Africa. Food Lovers Market launched a national invitation to social enterprises to participate in the Food Lover’s Market Seeds of Change Supplier Development Partnership opportunity.
Now in its second year running, this supplier development programme has not only allowed social entrepreneurs to engage as potential suppliers, but also offers them the opportunity to become registered suppliers for the retailer.
“Often, small businesses do not have access to the supplier networks and marketing tools to grow their business. Seeds of Change aims to provide the opportunity and the means for small suppliers to get the tools and training they need to be successful and operate their business as a sustainable supplier to the retail market – while making meaningful, sustainable and long-lasting social and environmental impact in our country.”
– Michael Coppin, director and co-founder of Food Lover’s Market
After successfully completing the programme in 2021, Boikano Sikwane now supplies over 15,000 bottles of their Chuck Chilli condiment to the retailer and now employs 16 previously unemployed youth from Diepsloot and Olivenhoutbosch townships. This programme has really helped her scale her business and its social impact.
Community empowerment through fresh produce
In 2022, the four-day boot camp gave the top 10 applicants a macro view of the global and South African retail landscape, including trends, challenges and opportunities within the sector. During this time they had face-to-face workshops offering guidance, mentorship and necessary skills to market their business. On the fifth day, the top 10 businesses pitched to the Food Lover’s Market panel, consisting of Mike Coppin (director/co-founder ), Andrew Millson (group HR and sustainability executive), Stephen van Vuure.
The winners of 2022 were Setšong African Tea Crafters, which offers eight types of tea, and has created a platform for job creation within rural communities, focusing on the empowerment of youth and women, as well as the promotion of African Indigenous knowledge systems and practices.
Retang Phaahla, chief executive of Setšong, expressed “We have created 20 permanent jobs and 15 casual jobs. We have also upskilled rural cooperatives to supply the processed herbal ingredients to the company for further value addition. Setšong is focused on the conservation of biological resources and plants and we have partnered with the Agricultural Research Council in focusing on the cultivation of indigenous crops as well as by raising environmental awareness within rural areas to preserve and protect these indigenous plants.”
Being a supplier of FLM offers a welcomed boost to our social enterprise as it offers us growth and sustainability while making it all the more possible to increase value, through accessibility, for our customers.”