Waitrose Foundation to work with UK government to improve livelihoods in South Africa
The Waitrose Foundation is to work with the UK Government on a project to increase youth skills and employment in the South African horticulture sector.
The project is part of the Trade and Global Value Chains initiative which was launched this week by International Development Secretary Justine Greening.
The initiative will see the government working with some of the UK's biggest high street names to improve working conditions and job opportunities in some of the world's poorest countries. This will involve forming partnerships between food and clothing retailers, local charities and governments to help farmers and workers employed by suppliers that operate in global supply chains.
The partnerships will focus on improving conditions, training and wages as well as providing healthcare and education in workers' local communities.
Justine Greening, International Development Secretary, said: "Through this project, businesses can get involved in improving conditions in the developing countries that form a crucial part of their supply chains. This will develop skills, help build stronger economies and lead to more sustainable supply chains."
The first project to be supported by the TGVC initiative will be a partnership between the Department for International Development and the Waitrose Foundation which will aim to increase youth skills and employment in the horticulture value chain in South Africa.
The project will give 16-25 year olds training in the vocational skills needed for increasing their job prospects in the sector. It will also help them to develop their leadership skills, provide work placements and shape their own development initiatives in their communities.
Mark Price, managing director of Waitrose, said: "I am delighted that the Department for International Development is supporting the Waitrose Foundation's youth leadership development programme in South Africa. The programme will enable young people working on Waitrose Foundation farms in South Africa to secure the future of their communities and local economies.
"The Waitrose Foundation has raised more than £5.5 million and funded over 300 such projects since it launched seven years ago and I am extremely proud of what it has achieved in that short time."
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