How does Colruyt Group work with the Congolese population?
To capture our greenhouse gas emissions, we will plant 12 million trees in Kwango (Congo). An ambitious project we wish to realise actively involving the local population. We will provide employment, a harvesting forest, educational and agricultural projects and infrastructure work, and we will build a hospital and schools. This is how we want to make a fundamental difference, for people and planet. Indeed, a global climate problem requires combined efforts.
Local anchoring of the forest project is essential to us. That is why we checked with our Congolese partners how we could create benefits for the inhabitants.
Result? We resolutely choose lasting collaboration and long-term support. We will …
- create employment for a few hundreds of people for at least three years.
- set up training about a/o forestry and agriculture.
- provide infrastructure: schools, water wells, a bridge and a hospital.
- make renewable energy available by means of solar panels.
- plant trees that can be an (indirect) source of food for the inhabitants.
- continue to stimulate local agricultural production – with a honey farm and a processing plant for cassava for instance – so that local people can provide their own food, and, in time, maybe even market these products.
- meet any needs surfacing during the project. We are contemplating an exchange programme between Colruyt Group employees and the local, Congolese community, but lessons in schools, forestry courses and initiatives concerning water and energy as well.
Our collaboration with organisations CADIM (Centre d’Appui au Développement Intégral Mbankana) and Faja Lobi is crucial to the forest project. They have years of experience in agricultural and afforestation projects in the same region (the Southwest of the Democratic Republic of Congo).
Colruyt Group already has several positive experiences with projects in the Democratic Republic of Congo. We continue to invest in those as well.
- In Kivu, in the East of the country, we set up a sustainable chain project in 2016 to guarantee coffee farmers a correct price and a certain market. We carefully roast the quality coffee beans for our private label Graindor.
- Collibri Foundation – with which we support projects for young people in difficult situations – is also active in Kivu. Since 2018, the organisation focuses on training and coaching young farmers to reinforce their talents and skills, as well as their entrepreneurship.
- Since 1985, we have constructive (commercial) relations with the Democratic Republic of Congo through Colex.
Joining forces to reach the (tree) top
With this initiative, we contribute to the following Sustainable Development Goals of the United Nations.