The Village Market Africa (TVMA) has won a supplier contract with Food Lover’s Market, which launched its first supplier development programme this year. Photo: Jack Lestrade
The Village Market Africa (TVMA) has won a supplier contract with Food Lover’s Market, which launched its first supplier development programme this year. Photo: Jack Lestrade

The Village Market wins supplier contract with Food Lover’s Market

By Philippa Larkin Time of article published Apr 29, 2021

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JOHANNESBURG - THE VILLAGE Market Africa (TVMA) has won a supplier contract with Food Lover’s Market, which launched its first supplier development programme this year.

Food retailers in South Africa, including Pick n Pay and Shoprite, are actively building their local supply chains and procurement via initiatives in an effort to help to create employment and uplift communities.

Being a supplier to Food Lover’s Market will give TVMA access to one of the largest food retail groups in Africa and one the last few independent food retailers of scale on the continent, with a footprint of more than 130 stores.

Investment company Actis, which has backed the founders of Food Lover’s Market, Brian and Mike Coppin, has said that food retail is the largest retail sub-sector in South Africa, valued at $35 billion (R471bn). It has grown historically by 9.5 percent and is forecast to continue at this pace.

The winner of the first Seeds of Change Supplier Development Partnership was announced earlier this month following a week-long bootcamp.

TVMA, a social enterprise established out of a need to address the decreasing bee populations, was announced as the successful applicant out of 839 entries, Food Lover’s Market said in a statement.

TVMA aims to combat rural poverty through establishing bee initiatives in remote African villages - linking the conservation of natural resources, rural producer initiatives and markets.

Siglinda Losch, the sustainability manager for Food Lover’s Market, said: “A huge congratulations to Mmabatho Portia Morudi from TVMA, who impressed the panel with her well thought out and cohesive business pitch. The other nine applicants were also very impressive, and the high standard of applications reflects the great mix of social enterprises across South Africa who are focused on building a sustainable society and economy.”

Food Lover’s Market said TVMA “wowed” the panel with a presentation that celebrated the finest raw honey produce, as well as the social impact of its beekeeping business - designed to breathe new life into a community in need of socio-economic and environmental solutions.

It said South Africa had a short supply of good-quality honey and bees were endangered, threatening food security globally. Advocating for sustainable beekeeping practices also had the benefit of improving the lives of rural farmers through bee pollination.

Together with ERP.ngo, bee sanctuaries are set up in remote rural communities across Southern Africa to protect bees, improve livelihoods, mitigate human and elephant conflict and assist farmers with crop pollination - improving their crops and yields.

Losch said: “We are so honoured to have been able to work with - and celebrate – these remarkable businesses and the social impact they make in the communities they serve ... Their dedication to social impact and change, quality, innovation and partnership is critical to achieving a more sustainable economy. We are so proud to be part of their world and being able to support these enterprises through the Seeds of Change Development Partnership.”

Mmabatho Portia Morudi, the co-founder of TVMA, said: “Considering the number of applications Food Lover’s Market received and the calibe of businesses that applied, as well as the amazing impact and quality of their products, it is humbling to come out on top. For us it means we get to drive even more impact in the remotest of villages by simply complementing their knowledge and skill with training, coaching, and supporting communities to be self-sufficient and in harmony with their environment.”

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