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Community Development

THE FIVE FOCUS AREAS OF THE WAITROSE FOUNDATION

The Foundation has a broad rural social development focus but gives preference to sustainable initiatives with direct impact on the mission, vision and objectives of the Foundation.

Health Care

THE FIVE FOCUS AREAS OF THE WAITROSE FOUNDATION

The Foundation has a broad rural social development focus but gives preference to sustainable initiatives with direct impact on the mission, vision and objectives of the Foundation.

Environmental Sustainability

THE FIVE FOCUS AREAS OF THE WAITROSE FOUNDATION

The Foundation has a broad rural social development focus but gives preference to sustainable initiatives with direct impact on the mission, vision and objectives of the Foundation.

Education & Training

THE FIVE FOCUS AREAS OF THE WAITROSE FOUNDATION

The Foundation has a broad rural social development focus but gives preference to sustainable initiatives with direct impact on the mission, vision and objectives of the Foundation.

History

Waitrose Waitrose Limited retail supermarket in the UK sources fresh produce for its retail stores in the United Kingdom from inter alia South Africa, Kenya and Ghana in Africa. The socio-economic and socio-political environment in which producers of agricultural products operate in these countries are, like most other African countries, not conducive to real economic growth and sustainable livelihoods for workers and their families. The deep rural areas often are scarcely resourced and economically disempowered.

Waitrose and its supply partners in 2005 resolved to secure the sustainability of the supply chain through an investment in the socio-economic development of the communities at the very root of the supply process – the farm workers and their families.

The Waitrose Foundation (Southern Africa) (WF (SA)) subsequently opened its doors in 2006 in Simondium, Paarl as a partnership initiative between UK-based Waitrose and its supply partners. Joining Waitrose as founding partners were Green Marketing International, Poupart and Gordon Fairbrother with 6 citrus growers as the first Grower-members of WF (SA). Namibian Growers later in 2013 also joined WF (SA).

Today the Waitrose Foundation (SA) are supported by Waitrose, 6 Importers, 23 Exporters and 55 Growers producing wine, citrus, grapes, avocados, stone fruit, soft fruit and top fruit on 107 different farms across Southern Africa.

Mission

The Waitrose Foundation (SA) endeavours to improve the standards of living of farm workers employed by Waitrose’s Grower supply partners in Southern Africa.

Our Vision is to achieve:

  • Better livelihoods for employees and their families;
  • Thriving, self-sustaining rural and farming communities;
  • Sustainability in the supply chain to Waitrose.

To achieve this Vision, the WF (SA) strives to:

  • Introduce an integrated, holistic approach to socio-economic development in a quest to achieve effective farm operations that underpins a sustainable supply chain.
  • Engage and empower workers to accept shared responsibility for:
    • socio-economic development in their communities;
    • establishment of a sustainable supply chain for the benefit of all involved

The Team

Kobus Visagie

General Manager

Kobus Visagie

Kobus obtained degrees BSc (Agric), B Com (Economics and Industrial Psychology), B Com Honours (Industrial Psychology) and M Com Strategic Management (cum laude), as well as a post-graduate Diploma in Higher Education and a Certificate in Transformation Leadership (University of Stellenbosch). He is an experienced Corporate Social Involvement strategist, specialising in socio-economic development and social justice. Kobus served in several senior management positions prior to joining the Foundation in 2013 as the General Manager of the Waitrose Foundation (Southern Africa)

Petro Vermeulen

Manager Finance and Administration

Petro Vermeulen

Petro holds a B.Compt Accounting Science degree at UNISA and has more than 10 years’ experience in Accounting and Financial Management in various industries, including hospitality and retail. She joined the Waitrose Foundation in 2015 as Manager Finance and Administration.

Caroline Poole

Regional Manager

Caroline Poole

Caroline joined the Foundation on a part-time basis in June 2019. She brings a wealth of experience and a comprehensive range of skills to the team. She is busy with her Master’s Degree in Sociology from the Department of Sociology and Social Anthropology from the University of Stellenbosch (thesis Focus – Community Resilience) and has completed her post-graduate Honours Diploma in Community Development and Population studies, also at the US. Her extensive work experience was focused within the South African agricultural and research fields and her passion for community development is what makes her the ideal fit for the Foundation.

Hilda Links

Regional Manager

Hilda Links

Hilda holds a BA degree in Social Work which she obtained at the University of the Western Cape. She has vast experience in community development and worked as a social worker in Department of Social Development before joining the Waitrose Foundation in 2011 as a Field Manager responsible for the delivery of programmes and projects on Foundation member-farms. She has specialised knowledge in the field of alcohol/substance abuse and family support programmes. She is also responsible for the Early Childhood Development initiatives of the Foundation.

Raymond Engelbrecht

Regional Manager

Raymond Engelbrecht

Raymond has a BA degree in Psychology and English, attained at the University of the Western Cape. He worked on youth development programmes across the Western Cape, in partnership with community-based organisations and joined the Foundation in 2011 as a Field Manager for project and programme facilitation. Raymond is also responsible for the Foundation’s Capacity Building initiatives, Bursary Fund and the annual Farm Workers Conference.

Timian Goliath

Administrative and Technical support

Timian Goliath

Timian Goliath is studying his Management Assistant Diploma at Boland College in Stellenbosch and joined the Foundation in January 2019 as an intern to comply with the practical requirements for the diploma. He provides Administrative and Technical support to the Waitrose Foundation team.

Tiffney Isaacs

Administrative and General support

Tiffney Isaacs

Tiffney is studying her Management Assistant Diploma at Boland College in Stellenbosch and joined the Foundation in January 2019 as an intern to comply with the practical requirements for the diploma. She provides Administrative and General support to the Waitrose Foundation team.

The Board

SIR DE VILLIERS GRAAFF – CHAIRMAN

De Villiers Graaff

Sir De Villiers Graaff is the CEO of De Grendel Wines (Plattekloof) and Director at Graaff Fruit (Pty) Ltd and Delecta. De Villiers is the independent Chairperson of the Board.

JACQUI GREEN – Importer

Jacqui Green

Jacqui is the CEO of Berry Gardens in the UK and represents the Importer Members of The Waitrose Foundation on the Board.

SIMON MOORE - Waitrose Ltd

Simon Moore

Simon is the Quality and Technical Director at Waitrose Ltd and represents Waitrose Ltd on the Foundation Board.

SIZWE MAGAGULA – Grower

Sizwe Magagula

Sizwe is the General Manager: Human Resources at Westfalia Fruit Limited in Tzaneen, a member of Hans Merensky Holdings (HMH) Group. He represents the Grower Members of The Waitrose Foundation on the Board.