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WWF SA and Knorr announce new food and water partnership

A three-year agreement between Knorr and WWF will focus on improving food and water security in South Africa

WWF South Africa (WWF-SA) and global consumer brand Knorr SA are energised to be working together to grow the local sustainable agriculture supply chain for Knorr in South Africa, while simultaneously tackling some of the ecological, social and economic challenges linked to the food system.

Knorr and WWF share the joint ambition to drive the transition to a more sustainable food system by developing a Future 50 Foods supply chain. In the process, they will support and develop smallholder farmers, manage water risk and sustainable agriculture issues relevant to South Africa and support the Water Source Area partnerships model of WWF South Africa.
Helping smallholder farmers to grow food and access markets is critical for food security and agricultural development in South Africa. The partnership will work to develop smallholder farmer hubs to grow Knorr’s local supply chain for key vegetables and herbs. This includes a focus on regenerative and water-saving
agricultural practices.
Given South Africa’s systemic challenges around water scarcity and quality, the partnership will also support the development of the Northern Drakensburg Water Source Area Partnership, as well as alien and invasive plant clearing and rehabilitation in the area. This strategic water source area feeds water via transfer schemes into the Gauteng region, where several of the partnership’s smallholder farmers are located.
The work in South Africa forms part of a global partnership between WWF and Unilever, which has included the publication of the Future 50 Foods Report.
WWF and Knorr will jointly raise the profile of the need for dietary diversity and adoption of more plant-based foods on South African plates. This shift is needed urgently, as the nation’s diet is heavily reliant on meat and starch with inadequate vegetable intake, as revealed in the 2020 study undertaken by The Nielsen Company to understand the eating habits of SA’s population.

Justin Smith, Head of Business Development, WWF South Africa, commented: “The global food system is doing major damage to our natural environment – negatively impacting biodiversity, water and marine resources and soil health – and still not providing sufficient nutrition or guaranteeing food security to millions of South Africans. WWF is excited to be working with Knorr/Unilever to drive the necessary transformative change to the food system through inclusive regenerative farming, optimal water use, responsible sourcing, reducing food waste and dietary shift.”

Chrislynn Ramdeo, Knorr Masterbrand, Unilever South Africa, said: “Knorr wants to lead the charge to fix the broken foods system by encouraging South Africans to choose to eat better for their health and that of the planet. We will champion dietary diversity, more plant-based meals, and more sustainable ways to grow and produce food that does not cause irreversible damage to our land. We need partners such as the WWF, who share a similar vision, to help build a sustainable food future for South Africa."
WWF and Knorr are working with small-scale farmers to improve food and water security in South Africa.

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