EcoProducts invited 30 baobab harvesters from across the Venda area to visit the new EcoProducts Baobab Processing Facility in Makhado.
The purpose of the visit was to show the harvesters where the fruit goes and what happens to the fruit once it arrives at the factory. We also wanted the harvesters and the factory staff to meet and to discuss the collection and processing challenges, and how these can be overcome through better understanding of the process.
It’s important to us to be transparent in the work we do, which is why we try to make sure that everyone associated with the process of creating our products has a feeling of inclusion in the bigger process of what happens in the baobab fruit industry. We want to show everyone involved; harvesters, factory workers, our distributors, retailers and our customers – the vital role they each play in the supply chain.
The harvesters were divided into 3 groups of 10 people each and each group was assigned a guide. These were myself (Sarah), Prince (who helps with factory management) and Fhatuwani (who is responsible for all the packaging and labeling).
Each guide took the group through the factory showing them the different parts of the factory from the office, fruit store, powder production unit and oil production unit. Every harvester had time to ask questions and interact with the other factory staff. They were each given a bottle of baobab oil and a sample of baobab powder and before they left, they all had lunch with the rest of the factory staff.