Farmer Stories

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The Baobab is an ancient species (some are over 2000 years old) which has adapted and survived in a dry, arid climate and which can store thousands of litres of water in its vast trunk. The fruit of the Baobab is one of the most nutrient-dense in the world – a rich source of vitamin C, almost 50% fibre and high in antioxidants! Naturally indigenous, this tree grows using just sunshine and rain, so no fertilisers or pesticides are used.

At Happy Planet we strive to find suppliers who grow tasty and nutritious food while doing their part to spread happiness.   We are passionate about making food that is as natural and organic as we can get it, using ingredients you can recognize and pronounce. Each of our products is carefully crafted, from the ingredients we choose, to the suppliers we partner with.  One of these purpose-driven companies is Farafena, where we proudly source Baobab, a key ingredient found in our Extreme C smoothie.

Who is Farafena? A family-run business with deep roots in Africa, Farafena collaborates with more than 850 women from over nine African villages to help them achieve financial independence. The effects of this are tremendous, improving the health and prosperity of entire communities and whole villages. Traditionally women farmers walked miles to sell very little product and all processing was done by hand. Now, Farafena collects the product directly at the village level and provides communities with any equipment like threshers and de-huskers. This helps empower women farmers to start micro-businesses, as well as build homes for their families.

Guérékélé in Mali The Baobab fruit we use is specifically sourced from the Guérékélé village in Mali where all the Baobab farmers are women. The Baobab fruit is gathered in the traditional way without any machinery, using bamboo sticks with a rudimentary knife system to cut off the pods. However to preserve the Baobab trees, Farafena are moving towards the introduction of new pruning techniques to harvest the pods which will not only improve efficiency but be better for the long-term health and sustainability of the trees.

Through Farafena these women farmers get to keep 100% of their earnings and for some it is the first opportunity they have had to earn an income while still living in the area with their families. For farmers like Fanta Kone and Adjaratou Sangaré, it has been gratifying to see the positive impact this economic empowerment has had on their community and lives. To learn more about the harvesting process and the women behind it,  watch the video, filmed in Guérékélé, Mali.

 


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