This summer, Whole Foods Market will share the story of social enterprise in Africa through the work of some amazing brands including LIFE Line, Alaffia, Madecasse, and Allegro Coffee. Each of these companies is committed to creating sustainable economic opportunities to help alleviate poverty in Africa.
LIFE Line, a lifestyle fashion brand, began with eight female employees who became a catalyst for change for an entire community in rural Kenya. These women bond together to create and sell beautiful canvas products in order to support projects like education for children with special needs, agriculture and environmental initiatives, as well as nutrition and wellness training.
In June, Whole Foods Market stores in Northern California, Washington, Oregon and British Columbia began selling LIFE Line’s “LOVE” bracelet to show support for job creation and fair wages in Africa. These hand-beaded bracelets, designed exclusively for Whole Foods Market and created by women from the Maasai tribe in Kenya, are a beautiful way to connect the maker and the wearer with a common purpose.
Alaffia was founded to maintain the handcrafted tradition of creating shea butter from Togo’s natural resources while advancing gender equality and alleviating poverty in West Africa. Whole Foods Market supports Alaffia’s vision for how traditional practices can contribute to the global economy and recognizes how powerful one purchase of shea butter can be to empowering African communities.
For chocolate lovers, Madecasse isn’t just another run-of-the-mill chocolate bar. Although 70 percent of the world’s cocoa comes from Africa, it’s rare for production to stay local. Madecasse recognized an opportunity to source, produce and package each bar on the island of Madagascar in order to make a truly positive social impact in the community.
Whole Foods Market shoppers may be familiar with Allegro Coffee. Allegro travels the globe searching out coffees that are as unique as their places of origin. Currently, Allegro is sourcing coffee from 25 different counties, including areas in East-Central Africa, and many family-run farms and coffee cooperatives within each country.
Whole Foods Market and the Whole Planet Foundation® are proud to support many businesses throughout Africa and the rest of the world as they grow and thrive. Whole Foods Market has partnered with entrepreneurs to extend microcredit to them and their businesses. Because of this microcredit, they are able to improve the lives of their employees and their community.