Ramadan is much more than not eating and drinking, it involves reflecting on values such as solidarity, consolation, and generosity; encouraging us to do good deeds and show affection for those in need. It is the best time to reveal the Islamic community spirit and practice the principles of social equality.
What makes this period so special is that these acts of devotion are done collectively: everyone is fasting, praying, and trying to eliminate bad habits. It creates an atmosphere where one is encouraged and supported to become a better person.
For us at Zola Foods, it’s a great opportunity to review and reflect on our business guiding principles, and how we can keep contributing to a more ethical world. Our aim has always been to empower, employ and educate local farmers living in rural areas throughout economic growth, especially for women. Closing the global gender gap in agriculture can grow food production and build sustainable futures for women and their children.
On this month of spiritual reflection, charity, and generosity we made a compromise to review some of the Principles of Fair Trade businesses:
Creating Opportunities for Economically Disadvantaged Producers All our products are sourced from some of the poorest regions in Zimbabwe, creating additional income for women in particular, throughout the supply chain.
Fair Trading Practices Our company is concerned with the social, economic and environmental well-being of marginalized small producers and does not maximize profit at their expense. We assure fair payments for all involved in the supply chain, maintaining long term relationships based on solidarity, trust, and mutual respect.
Ensuring Good Working Conditions We provide a safe and healthy working environment for employees and only work with partners that share the same values as us, being aware of all health and safety conditions.
Providing Capacity Building By focusing on educating farmers, suppliers, employees, and customers on the nutritional benefits of our products we hope to address issues of malnutrition in Zimbabwe whilst teaching households to incorporate self-sustainable farming methods into their daily lives. This leads to a healthier, more independent workforce that can provide for their communities and in turn reducing the dependency on food imports.
Principle Nine: Promoting Fair Trade We feel there's room for improvement on our commitment to the promotion of Fair Trade, so we decided to use more of our space to advocate and raise awareness to the need for greater justice in world trade through Fair Trade; starting by this post, and more to follow.
Respect for the Environment Zola foods only use sustainable farming methods with no reliance on off-farm or chemical inputs. We aim to preserve indigenous methods of production and conversion through labor intensive and low carbon emission supply chain.
This month of Ramadan is a reminder for charity and generosity, but we are always encouraged to be charitable. We wish you a generous Ramadan, and that we keep a generous spirit for the entire year.