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Waitrose Foundation expands out of Africa

Waitrose’s ethical trading initiative is to extend its reach beyond Africa for the first time in its history.

FOOD & DRINK

Waitrose Foundation expands out of Africa

Waitrose’s ethical trading initiative is to extend its reach beyond Africa for the first time in its history.

Costa Rica has become the first country outside Africa to join the Waitrose Foundation, which currently funds projects in Ghana, Kenya and South Africa. The foundation is aiming to expand the scheme to 12 countries by 2020.

From this month, customers will see the Waitrose Foundation logo on the retailer’s Costa Rican wholehead pineapples.

Established in 2005, the Waitrose Foundation is a partnership between the supermarket and its suppliers which uses a proportion of sales to help improve the lives of farm workers and their families. Over £10 million has been raised for local initiatives.

Projects established in Africa which have used Foundation funding have ranged from health clinics and schools through to maternity units and finance classes. One of the most popular initiatives are educational crèches where growers can leave their children while they work.  

Tor Harris, head of sustainability and responsible sourcing, said: ‘‘It’s exciting that more people will benefit from investment in their communities from the Waitrose Foundation. Customers will know when they buy our Costa Rican wholehead pineapples that the workers who grow them are benefiting directly.

‘‘From building schools for the children of farmers in Ghana to healthcare clinics for workers in South Africa the Waitrose Foundation is excited to be expanding these benefits to 12 further countries by 2020. This demonstrates our commitment to treating people in our supply chains fairly and with respect.’’

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