World Food Day 2021
Happy World Food Day, Ethical Foodies!
World Food Day is celebrated on the 16th of October each year. It commemorates the date of the founding of the United Nations FAO (Food and Agriculture Organisation) in 1945. The FAO believes that the food we choose and the way we consume it affect our own health, as well as that of the planet. At Black Mamba, we agree wholeheartedly!
As consumers, i.e. people who buy things from shops and companies, each of us has the ability to make an impact on the way agri-food systems work. We each have the ability to be a part of the change. This is why we are so passionate about ethical ingredients (and you should be too!).
When we started Black Mamba, we knew we wanted our products to taste good, but we also wanted it to do good - both for the planet and for our community. To this day, we still like our ingredients like we like our people - non-toxic! Of course, at the outset, the question was how we would go about securing a supply chain of fresh ingredients that we could trust were being farmed organically and ethically.
The second bit of this was a big thing for us. We wanted to know that the farmers who were doing the hard work to raise the produce we needed for our chilli sauces, jams, chutneys and pestos were not being given unfair prices or treated poorly. This unfortunately happens very often…
Fortunately, we came across Guba! This NGO does incredible work in Eswatini. They collaborate with 50+ smallholder farmers who grow fresh produce by means of regenerative farming methods, following permaculture guidelines. The direct positive impact of this partnership reaches over 1,000 individuals in Eswatini, and today their farmers supply us with the organic herbs and chillies we use in all our products.
These farmers are, in turn, sharing their knowledge with the members of their community, and doing the good work required to promote food security, improve soil fertility and boost biodiversity in the region.
Most of the Guba growers, as well as the members of our Black Mamba production team, are women from vulnerable communities. In many cases, they are the breadwinners of their families and look after children, siblings and frail relatives. They work incredibly hard and do everything in their power to overcome the challenges facing our communities in Eswatini, including HIV and poverty.
On our end, we also make sure to close the loop and work in a way that minimises waste wherever possible. We package and ship our products in glass and other biodegradable materials. Any offcuts from our production process are also circled back to Guba, and distributed to farmers to feed to their animals and make compost. It's small, daily choices like these that make all the difference.
In the end, we'd love it if you would support our business by buying Black Mamba products, so we create more jobs, and boost permaculture in our region even further. But even if you don't, we implore you to think about what you buy. Every time you open your wallet, you are either adding to a good story or a bad one.
The moves you make matter! So use your power for good.