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Vodacom South Africa celebrate 30 years of loving the planet with a sustainability themed cookoff

In celebration of Earth Day and their 30th birthday, Vodacom South Africa held a showcase and cookoff focusing on sustainable food sourcing. The day formed part of Vodacom’s RedLovesGreen campaign, challenging Vodacom customers, colleagues and members of the community to create healthy and sustainable dishes for a healthier body and planet.

“Our focus for Earth Day this year was sustainably sourced foods. Sustainable farming, fishing and consumption can only be achieved by meeting the needs of present and future generations, while ensuring environmental health, and social and economic progress. As a purpose-led organisation, we aim to leverage technology to enable and accelerate progress towards a sustainable future,” said Takalani Netshitenzhe, Director of External Affairs for Vodacom South Africa.

The Vodacom RedLovesGreen Immersion Day, attended by members of the Vodacom Exco, staff, customers, members of the community and the Vodacom sponsored rugby and soccer team members, featured various activities aimed at sharing tips on how to grow vegetables in one’s garden, cook using sustainable ingredients, recycle, upcycle, and protect our planet.

“An important aspect of this day was finding a way to include our customers, members of the community and colleagues in the activities. Through this showcase and our various partner initiatives, we want to educate our entire Vodacom community on sustainable living. As a brand we have spent the last 30 years dedicated to caring for the Planet. But, for there to be real change, we need everyone in the Vodacom ecosystem to join in and make tangible changes to their habits,” said Netshitenzhe.

The event attracted some exciting partners including Tweak who helped develop Vodacom’s Carbon Calculator, World Wide Fund for Nature who partnered with Vodacom in support of the South African Sustainable Seafood Initiative (SASSI), and the African Children’s Feeding Scheme (ACFS) which Vodacom has supported since 2000 enabling ACFS to provide food for vulnerable children. Home-grown vegetables sold on the day were sourced directly from the ACFS community vegetable gardens. Also in attendance were members of Mezzanine, a subsidiary of Vodacom who offer innovative technology solutions for both smallholder and commercial farmers across Africa. For the large population of smallholder farmers on the continent who lack the resources to effectively manage climate change, the productivity for food security is at huge risk. Digital technology can play a powerful role in enabling climate change resilience, boosting crop output, and assisting with socio-economic development opportunities to transform Africa’s agricultural sector.

Overall, the day was a great success and enjoyed by all who attended. Participants walked away with more than just a full stomach and wonderful prizes, they also walked away with new knowledge and tools that they can use to contribute to a sustainable future.

“We are extremely proud of the work we have done in the last 30 years to improve education around sustainable farming and consumption both through the Vodacom Foundation and in collaboration with our partners. This event is aligned to the Sustainable Development Goal to “End hunger, achieve food security and improved nutrition and promote sustainable agriculture” (SDG2) which recognises the inter linkages between supporting sustainable agriculture, empowering small farmers, promoting gender equality, ending rural poverty, ensuring healthy lifestyles and tackling climate change. By working together and making small changes to the way we consume, we can make a big difference to the future of our planet.

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