Food and Trees for Africa

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"In 1990 Founder, Jeunesse Park, gathered a group of concerned individuals,representing the then major greening organisations in South Africa, who came together with the realisation that the real environmental crisis in this country centred on people, uplifting quality of life and addressing climate change. They recognized that a simple way of achieving this was through the greening of unhealthy, denuded and degraded landscapes. This was the birth of Food & Trees for Africa (FTFA), the first (and still only) South African social enterprise that develops, promotes and facilitates greening, climate change action, food security and sustainable natural resource use and management, known as Trees for Africa until 2000...

"It was in the 1994 Review that then Chairman, the late Dr Enos Mabuza, wrote that FTFA's urban renewal programme had planted over 62 000 trees that year... 1995 saw the launch of what has become a nationally acclaimed programme, EduPlant, initially funded by Eskom Community Development to motivate schools and their communities to green and grow food naturally... 1998 began on a sad note with the death of recently retired Chairman Enos Mabuza. The organisation, however, remained in good hands with the election of Windsor Shuenyane as Chairman. Windsor had been closely associated with TFA since its inception nine years before and was ready to take the organisation into the next phase of operation which included changes to TFA's infrastructure...

"1999 was FTFA's tenth year as South Africa's leading greening organisation. CEO Jeunesse won the Mail & Guardian Green Trust Award. A long-awaited programme, "Trees for Homes", received funding from USAID. The Eskom EduPlant Competition attracted increased support from DWAF and funding from Tikkun and the Jewish National Fund, allowing the running of workshops for educators in all provinces. The Urban Greening Strategies booklet, sponsored by the Royal Netherlands Embassy, was published to support local government and partnership urban greening programmes...

"In 2003 a number of changes in partnerships took place, with the Woolworths Trust replacing Eskom as the major funder of the much-praised EduPlant programme. USAID funding, which had supported Trees for Homes since its inception, also come to an end. Barloworld came to the rescue, but FTFA began looking for a new partner for this project. There was praise for partners who had provided much needed core funding. The Green Trust's 12-year partnership subsidised two posts. While it was hoped that the Green Trust would continue its support, Deutsche Bank was welcomed as a new supporter. FTFA extended its operations to assist organisations working in the field of HIV/AIDS, helping to reduce the potentially devastating effects of the disease by establishing permaculture food growing projects at clinics, schools and in public open spaces.

"2008 Prof Mohale Mahanyele took over the Chair as long standing Chairman Mr Windsor Shuenyane retired. 2009 started with great sadness at the loss of founding Patron Dame Helen Suzman. It also started with great support from some government departments and companies. FTFA continued working towards international carbon accreditation for its tree programmes which will open many new doors for funding and facilitate those who choose this offset option to trade. Trees for Homes recorded over 550 000 trees distributed and 5 400 community based educators trained and given stipends... The FTFA Board of Directors welcomed two dynamic new members in Kumi Naidoo (who was appointed head of Greenpeace International at the end of the year) and the fabulous and well known Dali Tambo. The FTFA team grew to over 22 people working full time, putting great pressure on the humble office space...

"In 2012 FTFA continued its innovative work. FEED resulted in great returns for the first farm, 50 farmers earned R800 000! Sponsorships increased for the third year running, a growth of 25%, a record number of volunteers gave their time, 82 880 trees were planted in the past year (with a 100% survival rate at some projects, a first!). Clustering of food gardens is a new model pioneered by FTFA to maximise results. EduPlant entries for the bi-annual competition were the most impressive ever. Over 2000 schools benefited from permaculture workshops. Jeunesse Park was invited as a mentor and Climate Leader to attend the Climate Reality Leadership Corps Training with Al Gore in the USA. Very sadly, Prof Mahanyele passed away in this year."[1]

Sponsors include groups as diverse as Shell and Slow Food [1]


Accessed January 2013: [2]


Board of Directors

  • Murphy Morobe - FTFA Chairman - CEO Kagiso Media Limited
  • Mike Edwards - FTFA Financial Director - Carbon Protocol - formerly CEO Forestry South Africa, now retired
  • Isla Feldman - formerly CEO Jewish National Fund South Africa (JNF), now retired
  • Joshua Mahlangu - FTFA Vice Chair- formerly Soweto Department of Health and National Association of Clean Air, now retired
  • Andries Botes - Bushketeers Wholesale Nursery
  • Elizabeth Mokotong - Hluvukani Development Agency
  • Linda Mossop - Rousseau –SAFCOL
  • Kumi Naidoo - Executive Director of Greenpeace International
  • Jeunesse Park - Founder FTFA - Carbon Protocol and Climate Hero Awards
  • Shaun Clark - Financial Manager FTFA - ex officio




Resources and articles

Related Sourcewatch


  1. Food and Trees for Africa History, organizational web page, accessed January 10, 2013.
  2. Food and Trees for Africa About, organizational web page, accessed January 10, 2013.