Archive for June, 2009

UNDP help to protect rural Swazi livelihoods

An SIP member cracking in the traditional way

An SIP member cracking in the traditional way

Rural Swazis have been aware that as the popularity of marula oil grows, so too does the threat that somone will master the technology to crack the nuts in a factory, endangering a major source of their rural income. That threat is now reality, with a factory doing so, right on their doorstep.
They are fighting back, stepping up efforts to develop a mechanical technology to crack the nuts more quickly, that they can use in their homesteads. And they are getting support from UNDP, who are granting E40,000 to Swazi Indigenous Products for engineering help in developing the rural cracker. SIP is teaming up with women’s groups from Namibia and South Africa with the aim of providing their members with a machine that will triple their productivity and be available by the next marula season at an affordable cost.
If there are any engineers out there who know the marula nut and think you have some ideas to contribute, we’d love to hear from you.

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Shortlisted for Natural Product Award

Swazi Secrets were shortlisted last week for the 2009 PhytoTrade Africa Natural Product Award. Our congratulations to the winners – the Nurture range of natural and organic soaps by Township Trades, a social empowerment company doing wonderful work in Khayelitsha, Cape Town – visit them at http://www.townshiptrades.com

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Rural suppliers now own the company

Representatives adopt the new constitution

Representatives adopt the new constitution

June 11 saw the first AGM of Swazi Indigenous Products and was also the occasion for the handover of 100% of the company’s share certificates to its rural suppliers. 38 of the 43 founder Member Groups attended the event at SIP’s Mpaka factory.

After adopting their new constitution, the Member Group representatives received their share certificates from acting Chairperson, Futhi Mdluli. After the ceremony, Executive Director John Pearce explained that the shares could not be bought or sold and if a Member Group ceased to function, its share would revert to the company. As new Member Groups were formed, they would also be receiving shares.
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Kellogg Foundation visit

SIP was delighted to receive a visit in May from the Senior Vice President of the WK Kellogg Foundation, Jim McHale. Mr McHale’s programme started with a homestead visit to see the realities of rural poverty in the Low Veld, before going on to talk with 200 of our suppliers at KaBen.
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Staff corner

Secrets from Swaziland begins a new feature in this issue, giving profiles of individual members of staff. We begin the series with our Member Services Manager, Sindile Mamba.
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Swaziland Fair Trade Network

SIP is proud to be a Founder Member of SWIFT, the Swaziland Fair Trade Network. Fellow members are Gone Rural, Tintsaba Craft, Eswatini Kitchen, Rosecraft, Ngwenya Glass, Swazi Candles and Swazi Can.

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Swazi Secrets sales up 35%

Despite the impact of the global recession on bulk oil sales, Swazi Secrets sales are still booming – 35% up on last year. The increased business comes largely from new European export customers. The last few weeks have seen us despatching Swazi Secrets to Germany, Finland and Holland for the first time.

Factory Shop sales are also showing encouraging increases as our Factory Tours become better known to tourists.

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