Healthy and ethical food company Wessanen UK – owners of Clipper Teas, Kallo, Mrs Crimble’s and Whole Earth – has entered into a partnership with the International Tree Foundation (ITF) to support a series of community-led forestry and education projects across the world.

The new partnership sees Wessanen UK become the first corporate sponsor of ITF’s new 20 Million Trees Appeal, which aims to plant 20 million trees in and around Kenya’s highland forests by 2024, when the ITF will celebrate its Centenary.

Wessanen UK partners with International Tree Foundation

In addition, Wessanen UK will fund a number of projects under the ITF’s Sustainable Community Forestry programme. These projects help local African communities to better manage their natural resources, improving food security and enhancing local livelihoods through the sustainable use of trees.

One of the first projects to benefit from Wessanen UK’s support will be the ALPHA Women Empowerment Initiative in Uganda, where ITF is helping a local women’s group to graft and plant mango trees in a remote and impoverished area.

The third strand of the partnership will see Wessanen UK fund an extension of ITF’s new ‘Tree Power’ UK education programme to primary schools in Dorset and Surrey.

ITF - Wessanen UK project supportThe ‘Tree Power’ initiative, which is closely linked to the national curriculum, inspires children about the local and global importance of trees and forests through outdoor learning and shared experiences with schools in Africa.

Altogether, in the first year of the partnership, Wessanen UK’s involvement is expected to support the planting of 200,000 trees and the engagement of 300 young people in environmental education.

Patrick Cairns, CEO at Wessanen UK, comments:

At Wessanen, we’re passionate about protecting our planet for current and future generations.

The International Tree Foundation is a marvellous organisation which shares our belief in the importance of community-led sustainability, where local people are empowered to respect and make the most of their natural environment.

This is a partnership for a natural, organic, ethical and sustainable future.

Andy Egan, Chief Executive of the International Tree Foundation, adds:

We’re delighted to have Wessanen UK on board as a key corporate partner, and the first major company to back our 20 Million Trees Centenary Campaign.

Their support will help us change the livelihoods of hundreds of communities and thousands of individuals, whilst teaching new generations about the vital importance of trees and forests to our natural world.

Please watch the short video below for an introduction to the work of the ITF.