Health food brand Aduna has partnered with the African Union-led Great Green Wall tree initiative to scale up its baobab supply chain and create a $1bn market for the ‘superfruit’.
The Great Green Wall aims to build and preserve an 8,000km wall of trees across the African Sahel region to help regenerate land, create jobs and food security, and prevent migration.
An initial pilot project expanded Aduna’s existing baobab fruit supply chain in Ghana and Burkina Faso, increased the capacity of its processing centre and implemented a land restoration programme.
The brand said the activity had so far created sustainable livelihoods for 1,823 women from 44 communities and planted 12,000 baobab trees.
Aduna has championed the baobab as part of the solution to many of the Sahel region’s challenges, which include desertification and mass migration to Europe, since it bought the fruit to market in the UK in 2012.
Drought-resistant baobab trees grow in 32 African countries and are prolific in the Sahel.
“Over the past five years, baobab has risen from obscurity to one of the world’s bestselling superfoods and we are now seeing unprecedented interest in it as a food ingredient,” said Aduna CEO Andrew Hunt.
“This has been driven by its unique combination of delicious taste, health benefits and its ethical and environmental credentials. We are delighted to have joined forces with the African Union and the Great Green Wall to scale up our baobab supply chain and kick-start the creation of a new billion-dollar baobab industry for rural Africa that can sustain 10 million households.”
Elvis Tangem, Great Green Wall co-ordinator at the African Union, added: “Our partnership with Aduna is a pilot which demonstrates how an entirely new value chain can be created, from village to shelf, based on an indigenous tree crop. The outcome is a blend of land restoration and income generation.
“Our vision is to replicate this model with a range of different ingredients across the Great Green Wall. By connecting Sahelian producers to the global market we can create green jobs, reverse desertification and climate change and remove the need to migrate on an unprecedented scale.”