The Fruitful Office team are planting trees in Malawi for each fruit basket purchased by their customers. The team have mainly been helping to plant papaya and guava fruit trees but have also provided Senna Siamea trees in order to supply firewood to the locals. Fruitful Office has a robust relationship with the charity RIPPLE Africa. Trees are grown by the local people of Malawi, with 35 trees being planted for every 10,000 families. schools, families and community clubs are growing between 1,000 and 5,00 seedlings each. Equipment, tubes and seeds are being provided to the local people, and training and advice on caring for the trees is being offered to those that need it as part of the battle against deforestation, to boost public health and help local businesses prosper.
The team ensure there are as many seedlings ready for the rainy season as possible, with seedlings being planted in orchards and woodlots as well as around household perimeters. The campaign itself is branded Planting Fruit Trees in Africa and helps local communities access the fruit they need for nutrition and the firewood they need to make a living. The fruit has also proved to be an excellent source of income for many local families. Clients are updated four times a year about the campaign. Fruitful Office planted over 100,000 trees in Malawi between July and September 2015.
Efforts to prevent further deforestation of the Muzuzu area are now underway. The vast demand for firewood in Muzuzu has led to vast deforestation. The Fruitful Office campaign is addressing this, ensuring indigenous trees can be saved, with the new trees helping the demand for firewood to be met instead. The new nitrogen-fixing trees offer a valuable contribution to the environment. The tree-planting exercise is the largest of its kind in the Nkhata Bay District.
Senna Siamea trees grow very quickly, which means they are able to offer almost immediate benefits. Their branches can be used for firewood without the entire tree being destroyed. The branches grow back quickly too, which means firewood supplies are constantly replenished and the impact on the indigenous forests can be lessened. Deforestation causes significant problems with drought, soil erosion and hotter climates.
Fruitful Office has been a leading player on the fruit provision market for over a decade. It now has a presence in a number of countries including Germany, Belgium, Ireland and the Netherlands and recently sold more than 550,000 bananas in just one month. In collaboration with RIPPLE Africa, the team have planted more than 2.6 million trees in Malawi. Fruitful Office sell a huge amount of fruit to businesses each year, helping boost workplace morale and keep staff healthy and happy.
The company has also been involved in saving Choma Hill in Malawi. Choma Hill was formerly home to a substantial number of trees before a charcoal business was launched in 2003 and led to large levels of deforestation – the largest oldest trees were only capable of supplying three bags of charcoal, leading to inevitably disastrous results. RIPPLE Africa has worked hard to help slow down deforestation, with the team helping farmers to use Pine and Eucalyptus for alternative cooking methods. Though many communities are still setting fire to forests for agricultural purposes, this is actually counter-productive in many cases as only the top soil is actually fertile and regularly gets washed away immediately. More and more local people are being educated about the value of trees and discovering new environmentally-friendly ways of generating income.
A local farmer called Fwiyoulemu has launched his own tree nursery after learning more about the value of trees. Fwiyoulemu, who lives in a hilly part of Nkhata Bay District had planted more than 3,000 trees by the end of 2014. He used the vast majority of the trees for firewood but also planted a number of guava trees to raise further funds. Another local farmer, Alexander Muhango has raised more than 10,000 trees where he lives north of Mzuzu. The campaign team have collaborated with a number of local government professionals and provided advice to a host of farmers and communities. Kalowa’s David and Agnes Mzimba have been planting and growing trees for a number of years now. They planted a large number of Guava, Papaya and Senna Siamea trees in 2015, using the latter to create poles for buildings alongside firewood. The rains of 2015 had an extremely positive impact on the trees, which have also provided some much-needed shade during the hottest days of the year.
The campaign is widely-regarded as an excellent example of a corporate responsibility programme. More and more businesses are becoming involved in corporate responsibility schemes to give something back not only to local communities but those around the world. Corporate responsibility campaigns like Planting Fruit Trees in Africa can boost in-work morale and give staff a greater sense of well-being and achievement whilst raising brand awareness and improving the image of companies. Today’s investors are incredibly likely to be impressed by companies that take corporate responsibility seriously.
The work and impact of charities can be boosted remarkably when businesses partner up with them. Companies can benefit from the expertise of the charities, with the charities themselves being able to take advantage of the vast spending power and marketing prowess of the organisations backing them. Whilst the profile of corporate responsibility schemes has risen vastly over the years, many companies argue that they have in fact been backing CSR initiatives for many years, with IBM’s Mark Wakefield emphasising the fact that his company have been involved in CSR “since its inception”.
The process of using Fruitful Office is a simple one. You can use their simple fruit calculator to decide which service to opt for, before your fruit is delivered to your office and the team collect your empty basket when delivering the next one. The vast majority of Fruitful Office’s customers choose to order weekly, with bi-weekly and monthly options also being available. You can follow the team on the full range of social media platforms to keep up with the latest news and Planting Fruit Trees in Africa developments.