As director of brand for Sainsbury’s, a significant amount of my time is spent safeguarding the integrity of our supply chain and ensuring that the decisions we make on behalf of our customers are sustainable ones.

Our 20 by 20 commitments are our way of sustaining the natural world and its limited resources. I am proud of the progress we have made in areas like the British dairy industry, where we have created industry-leading standards with our milk production model. But I am always mindful that it is important to look outside the remit that is exclusive and specific to Sainsbury’s.

Food and farming are global concerns and we need to address the issue of hunger. The UN calculates that food production will need to increase by 70% to feed the estimated population of nine billion by 2050.

Last year, I joined the board of Farm Africa and that has really brought alive to me some of the issues faced by the people of Africa. In sub-Saharan Africa, between 50% to 70% of household spending goes on food, one in three are undernourished and many children will go to bed hungry every night.

” Our ultimate goal is to leave behind a template for good farming practice”

But on the other hand, 60% of the world’s uncultivated crop land is in Africa. I share Farm Africa’s vision that educating and supporting African farmers will empower them to grow enough food to support their families and communities - that’s why Farm Africa’s latest initiative is simply called Food for Good.

I have a particular interest in the work Farm Africa is doing to build the skills and abilities of women farmers. By training enterprising women to farm effectively and sustainably, you put income into their hands that will feed families, nurture communities, help children be educated and build a new generation of skilled African businesswomen.

We are rallying the support of other likeminded women from our industry to join us in a project called Dig for Good. Eighteen of us will be travelling to Kenya at the end of April to quite literally dig a fish pond that will be stocked with tilapia to provide both food and income for a female farming co-operative. We’ll be working hard to leave behind a working legacy that we will create in just three days.

A fish pond of this scale, stocked and managed properly, will produce 1.5 cycles per annum, producing about 2,250 fish (about 675kg). Ninety per cent of that fish will be sold, creating a sustainable income for the women involved.

Our ultimate goal is to leave behind a farming project that becomes a template for good practice and helps educate other co-ops so they can replicate the model in their own communities.

By creating a pattern of empowering African women to farm effectively, I feel that our Dig for Good team will be making a meaningful contribution that will help address some of the global issues around food production. You can help support this work with African farmers by making a donation at

Your support will empower Africa’s farmers to feed Africa’s people - for good.

Judith Batchelar is director of brand for Sainsbury’s