UK-based fruit supplier Chingford Fruit’s commercial manager, Shaun Hockey, has revealed that he is swapping life in Kent for Zimbabwe, tohighlight the need to support farms in developing countries while also raising funds for a worthy cause.
In November, Hockey will embark on a demanding four-week quest to Zimbabwe, where he will live and work on Churchill Farm, working to help pick stonefruit and also visting local projects and schools.
"I have been in the fresh produce industry for over 20 years and I’ve witnessed first-hand the positive impacts that enterprises, like Churchill Farm in Zimbabwe, can have on local communities," he explained.
"By providing much-needed employment, childcare, housing, sex education, counselling on HIV and AIDS and a health clinic, this farm is creating a community of its own.
"This experience, although unusual, will allow me to understand the challenges and day-to-day life of working on a Zimbabwean farm, which provides some of the fruit that we see on our supermarket shelves every day, and to really appreciate the hard work behind sourcing the fruit from the people who make the farm a success.
“Without these export sales, the future of the farm, and the employment that it brings, is at risk, so my aim is to raise the awareness of this journey, and to pass on as much of my fruit knowledge as possible."
Hockey has the ultimate aim of raising awareness of the positive impact UK retailers can have on this community in Zimbabwe, and is also hoping to raise much-needed funds for a revolutionary new facility set to change the lives of those living with Multiple Sclerosis (MS) at the Kent Multiple Sclerosis Therapy Centre (KMSTC).