This week, 14 senior female executives from the food and drink industry flew to Kenya to dig a fish pond for a remote village.

The scheme, dubbed Dig for Good, is part of Food Africa’s Food for Good initiative, which is bringing together the food and hospitality industry to solve one of the world’s most pressing problems: hunger.

The group includes Judith Batchelar, director of Sainsbury’s Brand; Helen Sisson, group technical director of Greencore Group; Rosie Boycott, chairman of the London Food Board; Janet McCollum, group finance director at Moy Park; and Lorraine Hendle, publisher of The Grocer.

“It’s hard work, but great team work and new friendships have taken us through the mud and sweat”

Victoria Rae, Farm Africa

Pictured above, the team lays the foundations of the fish pond in Bumala (near Kisumu in western Kenya) – a job made somewhat harder by the interruption of a rain storm on day 3.

“There is a huge storm here tonight, with the power going on and off and with no internet. This is really frustrating as we are desperate to shout very loudly we have so very nearly done it,” Farm Africa’s Victoria Rae said in a message home that day.

“We heard there was a bit of doubt before we came about whether we would be up to it, but that doubt is gone. Everyone’s support and retweets have been great motivators. It’s hard work, but great team work and new friendships have taken us through the mud and sweat. We are all proud diggers!”

Despite the conditions turning the site into a mudbath, the team achieved its goal by day 4, with the foundations of the pond completed.

“The result is a hole, constructed to the right dimensions and depth which will soon be prepared ready to be filled with tilapia. A legacy that we have helped create and leave behind for the community to harvest hope from,” said Victoria.

A communal meal on day 4 helped cement the bond between diggers and villagers. “It is great to sit down together and eat our meal as a team. As diggers, we are serving British cottage pie and trifle. The Afula ladies are treating us to chicken stew, tilapia, ugali and cowpeas. This truly is a feast,” Victoria said.

For more information on Dig for Good, see the Farm Africa website.

All pictures are by Sue Parkhill/Farm Africa