Waitrose Foundation At Work

The Importance of farm worker committees

October 2020

We regard farm worker committees as the true engine room - the driving force - behind projects run on our partner farms that directly benefit the workers who grow, pick and pack fresh produce for Waitrose. Funding that is allocated to each farm (based on volume produced for Waitrose) is applied to projects that are in line with key focus areas: Health & Well-being, Economic Empowerment, Education & Skills Development and the Environment.

These committees are democratically elected by the farm workers and are trained and supported to fulfil various critical functions. Herewith are photos from a committee training day that was held at Mouton Citrus in Citrusdal in the Western Cape in the first week of October. The Foundation's Farm Support Manager, Raymond Engelbrecht, attended the training day and also did a presentation about the Waitrose Foundation's function as partner in and support of these activities on farms all across Southern Africa.

Due to the impact of COVID-19 and lockdown regulations, Mouton Citrus's newly elected committee for 2020 was unable to perform many of their duties, but there was excitement for this full day meeting where the group could gather and represent various farms and divisions within the Mouton Citrus group. Various suppliers and partners gave presentations during the morning session and in the afternoon the focus was placed on the committee's responsibilities and the skills required to fulfill their duties. At every committee meeting skills training will be incorporated in order to ensure continual growth of the group members as they represent their community's needs and interests.