About The Project

The objectives of the Work. Learn. Grow programme are to establish a practical approach to operationalising localised food economies based on local agency and small enterprises that have been successfully tested and documented in place-based initiatives in three provinces.  This is so as to address the fragility, inequalities and limits in South African food system which became evident during the COVID-19 lockdown. In practice this means facilitating greater local sourcing of food for distribution through a variety of channels in ways that support local livelihoods and enhance local agency in the food system, to increase effective access for urban, peri-urban and rural consumers to safe, fresh and healthy food produced by household and small-scale farmers and fishers in ecologically sustainable ways. The project develops and implements appropriate protocols for food safety, food handling and human safety to accommodate the pandemic and basic food safety standards.

Our Unique Seriti Approach

Four partner organisations work in their own selected localities. The first step is mapping of local food system actors in the locality, including some more detailed interviews with a range of local actors. The second step is to bring actors and organisations together from across the local food system to discuss key issues and opportunities for localisation and democratisation (participation in decision making) of local food systems. Selected opportunities are then operationalised with the aim of creating sustainable new local links for the flow of food to local consumers. Cross-cutting issues include food safety training for formal and informal markets, identifying and piloting information and communications technology (ICT) platforms to facilitate easier connections between local food system actors, and some agroecology training and input supply to support farmers in agroecological production.

On 27 February 2021 and in collaboration with our local partner, the Economic Urban Farming, Seriti Institute’s market day was well at the Bosveld Mall: 

Local Partners

Association for Rural Advancement

AFRA is a land rights advocacy non-governmental organisation (NGO) working to support marginalised black rural people, with a focus on farm dwellers. We are working towards an inclusive, gender equitable society where rights are valued, realised and protected, essential services are delivered, and land tenure is secure. We work intensively with communities in and around the uMgungundlovu District Municipality in KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa, and extensively in offering support and advice. https://afra.co.za/


GenderCC Southern Africa – Women for Climate Justice is a non-governmental organization registered in South Africa in 2010 that is working with women, gender activists, civil society organizations and gender & climate experts from the Southern African region working for women’s rights, gender equality and climate justice. We are part of the GenderCC-International, a network serviced by the organization of the same name, a not-for-profit charitable organization based in Berlin, Germany. www.gendercc.org.za 

South African Food Lab

The Southern Africa Food Lab (Food Lab) is a multi-stakeholder initiative that brings together food systems actors to identify and pilot innovative means to achieve long-term changes to the food system through the use of collaborative learning and facilitation. Over the past decade, the Food Lab has successfully facilitated collaboration and dialogue, not just raising awareness, but effectively catalysing action to foster innovations and experimental action towards a thriving, just and sustainable food system. https://www.southernafricafoodlab.org/

Find Out More

WLG Schools Initiative

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C19 Community Response

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Work. Learn. Grow.

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