Kellogg Foundation lends a helping hand and more
The Commercialisation of Marula Natural Products (Pty.) Ltd. is currently being funded by the W.K. Kellogg Foundation. The Foundation saw the potential of the company first when it wes elected as one of the eight enterprises to be showcased by the IUCN (The World Conservation Union) a the 2002 World Summit for Sustainable Development under its Programme There is Another Way that Works. Link: www.thatworks.org
MNP started as an empowerment initiative supported by the Mineworkers Development Agency in Limpopo Province. It has now become a commercial enterprise, with projected domestic and international sales of $1,2 million by 2005.
The company recognises the value of traditional knowledge and natural renewable resources in a modern business context. Commercialisation does not mean mass-production by big business.
Says the World Conservation Union, The project would not be able to function without the 2,400 women in rural communities. Supporting them is not social welfare; it is sound business practice.
The W.K. Kellogg Foundation became a Strategic Partner to the new company by securing a 30% shareholding for and on behalf of a Community Trust.
Some of the roles of the Trust are:
Where possible, the MNP Trust holds the brand names of marula-based products and receives royalties on sales of these products. Similarly, the rationale for allocating funds is to ensure that communities remain at the forefront of sustainable resource use, propagation, and the identification of new product development opportunities.
The MNP Trust would coordinate an annual social impact assessment of the social and economic impacts of MNP, as part of building the knowledge base in relation to the impact of the commercialization of indigenous resources.
It is not envisaged that the MNP Trust would develop operational capacity to deliver the Research and Development (R&D) or community projects to communities, but that it would invite and approve proposals that would be implemented on an outsourced basis. Its role would be primarily that of a funding conduit. This may change over time.
Application of profit derived from shares and royalties.
The Initial Board of Trustees comprises of the following:
Person Position Designation
Mrs. Thanidiwe Dilebo Chairperson Councillor for Finance in Bushbuckridge Municipality; Teacher
Mr. Manias Mboweni Vice Chairperson Director, Department of Agriculture, Bohlabela District
Ms Norry Mavhundla Secretary Farmer and Supplier
Mrs. Girlie Njoni Vice-Secretary CEO, Marula Natural Products (Pvt) Ltd.
Mrs. Lafina Sekome Treasurer Farmer and Supplier
Ms Beatrice Mganu Member Farmer and Supplier
Mr. Simphiwe Nanise Member Chief Operations Officer, Mineworkers Investment Trust (MIT)