Aduna is an Africa-inspired health & beauty brand and social business. Our mission is to create demand for under-utilised natural products from small-scale producers in rural Africa.
More than 70% of Africa’s 1 billion plus population live in rural areas. From this huge number, 90% depend on small or micro-scale farming as their primary source of livelihood. It would be fair to say that agriculture is the lifeblood of Africa.
CREATING SUSTAINABLE LIVELIHOODS IN RURAL AFRICA
Aduna’s business model was designed to create demand for the under-utilised, but extraordinary, natural products - or "super-ingredients" as we call them - cultivated by these small farmers, many of whom are surviving on less than $1 a day. Some of these super-ingredients already grow wild on their land (like baobab) and others can easily be cultivated by small farmers (like cacao and moringa).
We invest heavily in marketing to raise awareness of these super-ingredients, which are often unknown in the Western world, and to educate consumers and the trade about their health benefits. We sell them as 100% natural superfood powders and raw energy bars in health and beauty stores around the world. By doing this, we are creating global markets for the products, which we can then plug the producers directly into via our smallholder supply chain.
Unlike other companies who operate at arms-length from producers, Aduna is run by people who enjoy and have in-depth experience of working directly with communities. This enables us to ensure quality standards and ensure that producers are paid a fair price for their goods.
OUR AWARD-WINNING BUSINESS MODEL
Our model goes beyond standard sustainability practice or even FairTrade, by creating a supply-chain which is value-added and community-managed. Our local partner ORGIIS - a grass roots community organisation in Upper East - agrees fair pricing with the communities and then works with the women to harvest and collect their baobab fruits. We are currently working with 700 women from 13 communities. We source baobab fruits from 528 women and a further 176 are then employed in our processing centre to transform the fruits into powder before shipping to the UK for the final stages of processing. With this model, the added-value from the processing stays not just ‘in-country’ but ‘in-community’, with Aduna having de-risked the production activity by underwriting the demand. This guarantees the long-term sustainability of the enterprise.
We have been given a number of awards for our business model, which has been commended by the sustainability community:
- Winner Global Sourcing Council's Innovative Sourcing Award 2015
- Winner UKBAA's Social Impact Investment of the Year 2015
- Shortlisted x2 Guardian Sustainable Business Awards 2015 Supply Chain and Diversity & Inclusion
We are already working with 700 women in 13 communities in Upper East Ghana where our baobab supply chain is based, who are benefiting from life-changing sustainable income flows.
Read the stories of two of our producers here:
Watch our beautiful two minute film showing the impact baobab can have on just one household in rural Africa.