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Uganda fair trade fruit export company wins international green energy award

The world’s leading green energy prize, the Ashden Award, awarded £20,000 to Fruits of the Nile, a company in Njeru, Southern Uganda operating a pioneering sustainable energy project.
Fruits of the Nile are helping farmers in Uganda harness the sun to dry fresh fruit for export. They work with a network of 120 producers – mainly women -who dry the fruit in simple wood-framed driers under the sun and send it to the Fruits of the Nile factory for sorting and packing. Meticulous procedures are followed throughout. Around 1,400 people earn an income from the business, benefiting at least 8,000 family members. The company is working towards organic and Fair Trade certification.

Sarah Butler-Sloss, founder and chair of the Ashden Awards said: “Our judges were impressed that the increase of skills and income along the supply chain starts with the farmers, all of whom are trained in organic production, and that the benefits then multiply all the way along, providing a whole community with an enhanced standard of living, as well as improving the environment.

“Fruits of the Nile are skilfully managing a complex operation, with considerable potential for growth. The constraint is securing the markets for the dried fruit, but we hope that Ashden Award recognition will help with that”, Ms Butler-Sloss added.

Accepting the Award, Angello Ndyaguma of Fruits of the Nile said: “ I am delighted that we have won an Ashden Award. Our fruit-drying project provides solar driers to process fruit during the high season, from which the rural poor get income using environmentally friendly technology. With this award, I wish to take the project to higher levels by improving our service delivery and reaching more farming communities.”

His Royal Highness The Prince of Wales, Patron of The Ashden Awards, personally congratulated this year’s Ashden Awards winners at a separate meeting. A Clarence House spokesperson said: "The Prince of Wales was deeply encouraged to learn of the solutions demonstrated by the Ashden Awards that can reduce our dependency on a carbon economy. His Royal Highness was particularly impressed by the local sustainable energy initiatives recognised and promoted by the Awards, which not only meet the needs of communities, but tackle climate change and further sustainable development."

Additional information: Ashden Award
News date: 19/06/2008

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