Tag: baobab seed collection

Film maker Greg Cameron: do less, do it better, make it matter more

Recently, Greg Cameron was commissioned by PhytoTrade to make a film on baobabs in which he records the stories of the baobab fruit collectors and how baobab fruit help them improve their lives. Here, Itai Chibiya, PhytoTrade's Monitoring and Research Evaluator is being filmed while being interviewed.   EcoProducts was chosen as the site for the interviews.  Sarah Venter, the owner of EcoProducts was also interviewed about how she works with the harvesters and ensures that the collection of the fruit benefits everybody in the supply chain and in particular the harvesters.  Sitting under one of the biggest baobabs in the village chatting to some of the baobab fruit collectors gave her an insight into what this special and talented man was all about.  He says “ do less, do it better and make it matter more”.   He now wants to fuse his knowledge with his passion to build socially conscious brands through integrated story.

Watch Greg's recent stunning works on the Baobab including one for EcoProducts   and one for Terres DÁFrique

Greg was also commissioned to film the Siemens COP 17 Baobab video – a brilliant 90 second video! 

There are 21 videos by Greg Cameron on Vimeo.  He is a freelance video producer and has done a wide variety of award-winning work from TV ad campaigns to brand promotions.  Do take a few minutes out of your day to watch his videos- he's a man to follow! 

 

where do you go with the baobab fruit?

Last week while on a photo shoot in Venda,  the harvesters asked me where I went with all the baobab fruit I buy from them.  So I said, why don’t you come and see?  We worked out the taxi money from Venda and back and set a date for the following Thursday.  

The women travelled 200km to visit EcoProducts in Makhado. They arrived in their beautiful Minwendas (traditional venda dress).  I could not resist the temptation of putting on my Minwenda which was given to me by Chief Sumbana a few years ago.  

We showed the women around the premises and they chatted with all the staff.  When they saw what the fruit was being used for and how we process the powder and oil, they realized why I am so fussy about the quality of fruit I buy from them.  There was such tremendous ‘buy-in’ from them, once they understood the importance of the harvesting work they did. They felt part of a greater process rather than just the suppliers of the fruit.  

We showed them the cracking, separating, sieving and packing of the powder.  They also were amazed by the oil press and that such a small dry seed could produce oil.

The hidden benefits of baobab oil and fruit powder

Annie Nenzhelele has been collecting baobab fruit for EcoProducts for a few years now.  Last week when I was visiting her village she said that she has been using the money she has earned for building her house.  She took me into her house to show me the bags of cement she  had bought to complete internal plastering.  She will use her next earnings from baobab fruit to complete the ceiling. Here is Annie proudly showing off her bags of cement. 

Baobab Fruitfulness

How old were your parents when you were born?  Not as old as the Baobab tree has to be before it's capable of bearing fruit. It can take a Baobab tree up to 200 years before it produces its first green-brown velvety pod-shaped fruit.  January is when Baobabs start to fruit and fruit production is highly variable between trees. Some trees never produce fruit even though they flower every year. Some trees produce only a few fruit a year and others produce huge quantities. I have been monitoring baobab tree fruit production in Venda for 7 years. The record was 1200 fruit on one tree, but this was highly unusual. Mostly they average about 65 fruit per tree per year. EcoProducts only ever harvests fallen fruit to avoid harming the parent tree.