The Wood Foundation Africa is committed to enhancing social, environmental, and economic sustainability in our activities.

Through robust safeguarding frameworks, the team proactively identifies risk and puts in place mitigation measures based on national and international best practice requirements, including the International Finance Corporation (IFC) Performance Standards and Environmental, Health and Safety Guidelines on Perennial Crop Production; Voluntary Principles on Security and Human Rights; as well as the Rainforest Alliance Sustainable Agriculture Standard.

Social safeguards

To empower employees, beneficiaries, and stakeholders, social safeguarding policies address issues including working conditions, gender equality, community and occupational health and safety, social inclusion, and food security.

Education and training sessions are delivered to support the successful implementation of these policies to ensure all are treated with respect, in accordance with our company values.

There is a continuous programme of monitoring of farmer and casual worker livelihoods, as well as the sustainable management of smallholder land.

Environmental safeguards

The Wood Foundation Africa is committed to climate smart agriculture and regenerative agriculture principles, recognising and acting upon the opportunities and risks presented through its investments.

Working with partners, a regenerative agriculture approach to enhanced tea development is underway which takes into account topography, weather conditions, ecosystem services, and soil conditions. A higher upfront cost today will pay economic and environmental dividends in the long-term.

Training and knowledge sharing are promoted at a local level to ensure all activities are sustainable and farmers understand the ongoing role they can play. Teams also work with these communities to identify additional economic activities for income diversification and ecosystems conservation.

In terms of land-based activities, tillage activities are limited, drainage and water flow plans are developed and managed, soil health is improved by nappier strips along the slopes and edges of farms, moisture and erosion control measures are implemented, and hill sides are stabilised for example through terracing. There is also investment in sustainable forest management and selecting tea plant varieties which use less herbicides and water and that are less vulnerable to diseases and droughts.

At factory sites, renewable energy and energy saving technologies are utilised, including dry firewood use, solar panels, heat recovery systems, and power factor correction.