Food industry leaders prepare for African charity trek

By Mike Stones

- Last updated on GMT

Charles Reed, group md of William Reed, on a previous Farm Africa expedition
Charles Reed, group md of William Reed, on a previous Farm Africa expedition

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A team of senior food industry leaders – including Charles Reed, group md of William Reed, publisher of the Food Manufacture Group – is preparing for a charity trek to scale Mount Elgon, an extinct volcano straddling the Uganda-Kenya border, in a bid to raise £100,000 for Farm Africa.

The team – which includes representatives from manufacturers 2 Sisters Food Group and Moy Park and retailers Tesco and Aldi –  will spend a week trekking through mountain forest, deep gorges and up Mount Elgon’s four peaks.

During the visit, the team will visit Farm Africa projects in both Uganda and Kenya to see first-hand how the money they raise will benefit the lives of farming families.

Flying to Entebbe airport in Uganda on Friday January 28, the team will begin with a tour of a project helping Ugandan farmers to harvest, process and store orange-fleshed sweet potatoes.

Boosting farmers’ income

The initiative is designed to boost farmers’ income by improving their post-harvest handling skills and access to processing and storage facilities, enabling crops to be sold and consumed throughout the year.

The team’s charity mission will end with a visit to the Growing Futures project, which helps young people in western Kenya build profitable businesses. This scheme provides training and technical assistance in horticulture and agronomy.

Raise more than £100,000

The food industry leaders hope their charity trek will raise more than £100,000 to support both Farm Africa’s projects in eastern Africa. If you would like to help them realise that ambition, donate here​.

The latest visit follows Reed’s participation in a Farm Africa expedition​ to climb Mount Kilimanjaro, the world’s tallest free-standing mountain, in September 2011. 

Meanwhile, last October Food Manufacture Group md, Lorraine Hendle, joined Greencore’s group technical director Helen Sisson and other women industry leaders in another Farm Africa project, dedicated to lifting rural women’s income in Tanzania by building beehives​. 

Both visits are part of a long running programme of charity challenges​ organised by Farm Africa.

Farm Africa’s Mount Elgon Challenge 2018

  • Adam Braithwaite, Dairy Crest
  • Toby Brinsmead, Vitacress
  • Mark Given, Sainsbury
  • Keith Irvine, Moy Park
  • Richard Kennedy, Devenish Nutrition
  • Richard Macdonald, Farm Africa Chairman
  • Julian Marks, Barfoots of Botley
  • Jonathan Neale, Aldi UK
  • Keith Packer, 2 Sisters Food Group
  • Charles Reed, William Reed
  • Tim Smith, Tesco
  • Andrew Thompson, Booker
  • Alan Wotton, Oscar Mayer


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