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Collaborative consensus: OneFarm Share goes beyond providing a food security programme

OneFarm Share staff load food to be distributed to vulnerable communities in Durban. (Photo: HelloChoice)

While more than 12 million people in South Africa are unsure where their next meal will come from, the nation has a net surplus of food. OneFarm Share brings together supply chain players to sell or donate their edible surplus food rather than dump or incinerate it.

In eight months, the OneFarm Share initiative has grown to be a reliable and trusted channel for food processors and emerging and commercial farmers to sell or donate their products to new markets. Above all, OneFarm Share has brought together all the role players – from producers and logistics companies to consumers and beneficiaries – on to a single digital platform where needs can be identified and addressed.

With Standard Bank allocating relief funds for food and logistics procurement, HelloChoice, a South African company providing a digital fresh produce marketplace, and FoodForward SA, the biggest food distribution platform in the nation, OneFarm Share was launched. 

Noting the food crisis and impact of lockdown regulations on South Africa’s broken food system, the collaborative efforts involved in the OneFarm Share programme are helping with sustainability of farming operations in the country. 

Wendy Pienaar, Standard Bank head of ecosystems, says agriculture is prioritised as one of the top five ecosystems for the Standard Bank group. She says the OneFarm Share platform was launched as a digital business-to-business platform to connect and provide services across the agricultural ecosystem.

“We at Standard Bank are now able to provide access to additional solutions for our clients in the agricultural value chains, who have experienced local marketing and distribution challenges for their produce.”

Ross Linstrom, Standard Bank’s media relations person, said since its launch in November 2020, OneFarm Share has delivered 2,000 tonnes of fresh produce countrywide – which translates into six million meals for over 700,000 people. This is envisaged to increase in 2021 to “7,400 tonnes of food across all nine provinces, enabling over 30 million meals to 800,000 people”.

In the aftermath of the recent unrest in KwaZulu-Natal, OneFarm Share has distributed 80 tonnes of fresh produce to vulnerable rural communities in KZN, including eSikhaleni, Empangeni, Pongola, Nongoma, Dundee, Pomeroy, Tugela Ferry, Greytown, Mooi River and Howick. The food includes apples, bananas, beetroot, amadumbe, brinjal, butternut, cabbage, carrots, beans, tomatoes, sweet potatoes and naartjies – all from food processors and emerging and commercial farmers.

In addition to the food relief intervention via distributor organisations, Grant Jacobs, CEO of HelloChoice, says: “OneFarm Share has also been able to assist Pick n Pay’s Feed The Nation Foundation by engaging Tripplo (a logistics software platform for transporters in Africa) for logistical support in moving food parcels from Norwood to Umhlanga. 

“We are in ongoing discussions as to how else we can support Feed The Nation with food relief efforts, particularly with fresh produce from OneFarm Share.”

FoodFowardSA managing director Andy Du Plessis said food from OneFarm Share is distributed through partnering with various capable, accredited and registered organisations offering services which include feeding programmes, social services, health and childcare services.

“We try to not only address food insecurity, but also ensure that we provide nutritious food. More than 90% of the groceries we distribute is nutritious food,” said Du Plessis. 

The OneFarm Share programme is much broader than food distribution.

Linstrom said the OneFarm Share initiative is not simply about providing hunger relief and reducing food wastage. It is also about stimulating the economy and helping to recreate markets for farmers who have lost their traditional markets due to the impact of lockdown measures. 

The platform allows farmers and food processors to sell produce in a way they may not have had access to previously – a structure that supports the vulnerable in our society. 

OneFarm Share receives food requests from registered charity organisations and lists them on an online marketplace. Requests are then matched to available produce listed by farmers and food producers. The food is made accessible to beneficiary organisations at a reduced cost or as a donation, and the platform facilitates the delivery of the right product to the right place at the lowest possible cost.

“We are excited about the enormous potential that OneFarm Share has to ensure the sustainability of agriculture and reduce the problem of hunger on the continent,” said Linstrom. DM/MC

Those willing to donate can do so via Snapscan. For more information, visit onefarmshare.co.za

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