Food Lover’s Market has named Setšong African Tea Crafters as this year’s winning social enterprise to join the retailer’s supplier network through its Seeds of Change Supplier Development Partnership. The local tea brand’s triumph comes after a stringent bootcamp and a day of pitching to senior Food Lover’s Market executives.

The Food Lover’s Market Seeds of Change Supplier Development Partnership was created as an opportunity for social enterprises. To also join the fresh produce retailer’s network as a supplier.

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The initiative attracted over 270 refined entries. The successful applicant was announced on 13 May 2022, following a four-day boot camp with the top 10 applicants at Vredenberg Manor in Somerset West, Cape Town.

Setšong African Tea Crafters crowned Food Lover's Market's new social enterprise supplier
Setšong African Tea Market

As the successful applicant, Setšong African Tea Market will now supply tea products to the Food Lover’s Market Group. In third place was Yamama Gemmer, a traditional ginger beer. In second place, Home Bao, a producer of frozen dumplings.

Says Michael Coppin, director and co-founder of Food Lover’s Market, “A huge congratulations to Retang Phaahla from Setšong African Tea Crafters, who impressed the panel with her well thought-out and cohesive business pitch. The other nine applicants were also very impressive. The high standard of applications reflects the great mix of social enterprises across South Africa who are focused on building a sustainable society and economy.”

Community empowerment through tea Setšong African Tea Crafters. Which offers eight types of tea, has also created a platform for job creation within rural communities. Focusing on the empowerment of youth and women, as well as the promotion of African Indigenous knowledge systems and practices.

Setšong African Tea Crafters crowned Food Lover's Market's new social enterprise supplier
Retang Phaahla, CEO of Setšong Tea Crafters

Says Retang Phaahla, chief executive of Setšong Tea Crafters, “We have also created 20 permanent jobs and 15 casual jobs. We have also upskilled rural cooperatives to supply the processed herbal ingredients to the company for further value addition. We have partnered with the Agricultural Research Council in focusing on the cultivation of indigenous crops. As well as by raising environmental awareness within rural areas to preserve and protect these indigenous plants.”

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