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Changing the World, One Jar of Peanut Butter at a Time

Discovery  |  14 June 2019

The locals call it Mosi-oa-Tunya — 'The Smoke Which Thunders'. The rest of the world knows it, less poetically, as Victoria Falls. Zambia, home to Mosi-oa-Tunya National Park, has seen tourism numbers climb steadily over the past years making it Zambia’s fastest-growing national economic sector. Yet, while the more established businesses have been reaping the benefits, the smallholders are being pushed out. 

Bucking the trend, the Royal Livingstone Victoria Falls Zambia Hotel has gone out of the way to incorporate Livingstone smallholders into the hotel’s procurement process as part of its drive to empower local communities through sustainability projects, ensuring they get a share of the thriving tourism economy.

Livingstone is home to around 300 smallholder farmers traditionally relying on roadside stand sales. More often than not, failing to make the sale, they have little choice but to turn to the profiteering middlemen. By launching a biweekly Smallholder Farmers’ Market at the hotel’s warehouse, The Royal Livingstone essentially cut out the middleman by guaranteeing to buy all of the crop directly from the smallholders, at a fair price. 

Just as impactful is the Libuyu Women’s Peanut Butter Project empowering HIV-positive women by outfitting a peanut butter factory. From ensuring that the production process meets local health and safety standards, to designing and supplying uniforms and running regular sales and marketing workshops, the project has been instrumental in making local women self-reliant and confident in their future.

At Nsongwe Women’s Farm - an indigenous fruit farm that employs more than 3,000 people - Anantara team has trained the farm workers in sustainable agriculture techniques. Historically, even though women did much of the field work, men managed the marketing and sales of produce, seldom giving women access to earnings from production. The members have been trained in financial management and marketing principles and now sell most of their produce to local hotels and resorts through long-term contracts that ensure sustainability. 

Zambia’s women farmers are no strangers to specialist produce, and the Maramba Women’s Mushroom Farm grows mushrooms that inspire world-class chefs. The farm was saved from closure by investment from The Royal Livingstone Hotel and AVANI Victoria Falls Resort. The farm’s reach extends beyond specialist agriculture, by providing education, medication and support services to residents affected by HIV/AIDS. As a result of this initiative, 15 women are enabled to take care of 160 orphans, widows and vulnerable adults. 

Taking the message global, Anantara considered various ways of sharing the success story that is Royal Livingstone’s CSR programme. The result is the brand’s “Beyond Horizons” mini documentaries, available on anantara.com and supported by a successful social media campaign, showcasing the breadth and variety of charitable and sustainability work carried out by Anantara properties worldwide.

Transporting viewers to some of the world’s most stunning yet fragile destinations, “Beyond Horizons” is an honest gaze into the environmental challenges faced by local communities as well as an invitation to start a dialogue about the urgent need to act as a united front to tackle them.

Shot on location, each of the videos in the Beyond Horizons series are narrated by Anantara CSR champions who share stories of progressive initiatives carried out at properties around the world through Anantara led charitable organisations such as the Thai based Golden Triangle Asian Elephant Foundation.

To watch the upcoming videos in the “Beyond Horizons” series, please visit https://www.anantara.com/en/social-responsibility/beyond-horizons

*Foreign currency conversions are given as guidance only and are non-binding. Only the currency confirmed at time of booking is guaranteed.