More Bananas for Uffe Buchard!

Uffe Buchard may be most popularly known for his glamourous role in the fashion world but what he doesn’t get from the runway he makes up for on banana plantations in the global south. Read on to hear about his latest fruit farm trip.

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Danish public figure Uffe Buchard joined froosh on a fruit farm trip to Malawi last year where he visited a mango and banana farm. He was so shocked (in a good way) at how modern the facilities were at the plantation and the benefits the farm brought to the employees and community around it. Uffe Buchard left Malawi as an expert on mangoes and bananas and a true believer in trade not aid. We knew it would not be long until he joined another froosh fruit farm trip. And he did, just recently in fact! It was more bananas for Uffe, but this time froosh took him to Guatemala. Uffe stayed on the Finca Blanca Banana Farm, a cooperative, which employs 3,500 local people. What Uffe quickly came to understand was how the Finca Blanca Banana Farm contributed to the well-being of the whole region. He was amazed to discover the farm had a bakery, shops, a health clinic- which offers courses in malaria and HIV prevention, a pharmacy and a school. He was even more impressed to hear that the school is open to the children of every farmer between the ages of 4-14 and that the farm pays 90% of the schools fees.

When Uffe came back from his trip to Guatemala he was invited to an interview with TV2 and featured on the popular breakfast program Go Morgen Danmark, where he talked about his experiences and more specifically the froosh trade not aid program. Uffe explained that his passion for trade not aid is rooted in its active approach. He believes actively engaging with poor rural communities though business provides far more opportunities than development aid ever can.

Reflecting on both his trips with froosh Uffe explained how he’s seen two very different fruit farms. The first in Malawi where people really have nothing and where trade is crucial if they ever want to be free from poverty; and second, somewhere more developed, where the positive effects of trade are obvious in their education system, health clinic and community. When asked if he would join froosh on another fruit farm trip he said he’s seen it all but he would not pass up another trip.

song credit artist: Haim, Song title: Honey and I

Our fruit farm trips are part of fruit on a mission- a political mission inspired by the inability of existing solutions for fighting global poverty. If you would like more information on fruit on a mission or are interested in our fruit on a mission lecture contact our Group Public Affairs Manager Anna Hagemann Rise at

Buy Global. We’ll tell you why!

Did you know that buying global can help improve the livelihood of communities in some of the poorest countries in the world? This short article highlights the benefits of buying global and will change the way you think about buying food from the developing world. Enjoy and don’t forget to write us a comment we love to hear what you think! 


What’s local, what’s not?

We’d like you to take a trip to your local supermarket, let’s head to the produce section. Now note all the different foods you can see and think about where they may have come from; oranges from Brazil, bananas from Guatemala, pineapples from Thailand and watermelons from Southern Africa.

Now we’ll paint a different picture, try and think about how the supermarket would look if it supplied only local food. In a supermarket near us, Sweden, and for pretty much the rest of western/northern Europe the produce section would look quite different and strikingly less colourful. During the summer months you would have berries and some stone fruits popping up; but for most of the year your fruit bowls would consist of apples and pears. Now, we have nothing against apples and pears, in fact we love them, but we also love the variety of fruits the rest of the world provides us with.

You may have guessed what we’re getting at here, yes, the ‘buy local’ trend- buying only locally grown and produced goods. A trend inspired by new urbanists and romantic hipsters with a flare for aesthetics and socially good intentions, which has fast become a mainstream fixture.

Just like apples and pears we have nothing against new urbanists or romantic hipsters in fact we love them as much as we love good intentions we just want to tell the other side of the story, the positive side to buying global.

Locavores (those who buy local), argue that local food tastes better, looks better and is healthier for you. But what does that matter if it’s not available, wouldn’t you rather have a sweet and juicy pineapple from Brazil than not have one at all? In addition to the fact there is very little scientific evidence that local food is healthier, buying global increases the variety of foods available to you, which in turn provides a range of different and vital vitamins and nutrients that may not be available all year round from local foods.

So what about the environmental impacts of importing food?

Yes, transport emissions are not great but neither is growing exotic fruit & veggies in sub-optimal climates. Brazil has optimal conditions to produce oranges and therefore does not need the energy to build and heat green houses to grow them. Trying to grow foods not local to the area in sub-optimal climates demands a lot of production inputs that not only put up the prices of our delicious fruits and veggies but are in no way good for the environment either.

Salima Market in Malawi

Salima Market in Malawi

Doesn’t buying local benefit the local economy and community?

It’s true; the local food movement does support the local economy. While this is not a negative outcome we think it makes more sense to improve communities and countries that are most in need of development and not to mention reliant on agriculture.

According to the World Bank for 70% of the world’s poor who still live in rural areas, agriculture remains the main source of income and employment, and has been recognised as one of the fastest ways to achieve poverty reduction.

More demand in international markets for imported foods = more jobs for producers in developing countries. It may sound crazy that buying mangos imported from Malawi could build a local school or buying a banana imported from Guatemala will build a local health clinic, but we’ve seen it with our own eyes!

The benefits of buying global.

From our fruit farm experiences we have seen the importance of trading with developing countries and have found countless success stories of how fruit farms act as development engines in rural areas. When we visit these farms we see the benefits they bring – jobs, health clinics, infrastructure, schools- and all without a penny of aid. Without the demand from the western world for produce from developing countries these farms will fail and so will the communities that surround them.

So next time you go to the supermarket and see products from all over the world, know that if you do buy these products your loose change is helping to improve the livelihood of communities in some of the poorest countries in the world.

Buy Global.

fruit on a mission is a political mission inspired by the inability of existing solutions for fighting global poverty. If you would like more information on fruit on a mission or are interested in our fruit on a mission lecture contact our Group Public Affairs Manager Anna Hagemann Rise at

a small company with a big political mission- froosh at almedalsveckan


What is considered to be the most important forum in Swedish politics, the Almedalen Week or in Swedish Almedalsveckan kicked off last Sunday with speeches, seminars and other political events.

Froosh of course had to be there to spread the message of trade not aid, with all our experiences and fascinating stories from our fruit farm trips. As the only small company with a strong political mission at the event with think we made quite an impression.

For all our fruit farm stories check out our book “fruit on a mission” 

On Thursday morning it was our turn to debate our passion: how to fight poverty: trade or aid? With speaker Fredrik Segerfedt a tough critic of aid, and panel debators: Linnea Engström EU Parliamentarian for the Swedish Greens, Mattias Goldman CEO of Fores, and froosh’s group public affairs manager Anna Hagemann Rise. We deliberately invited a mix of experts with divergent opinions, we wanted a real debate!

FrooshSo how did the debate go down?

Trade or Aid – the best way of raising living standards in poor countries?

After Segerfedt wrapped up his talk the debate kicked off with Mattias Goldman’s question why not both? He argued there are benefits to both trade and aid in developing countries. Engström agreed with Goldman to some extent but has doubts that trade can solve the issue of poverty alone; she does not believe that businesses are interested in investing in the poor.

Frederik Segerfedt disputed both Goldman and Engström’s arguments by explaining that no country in history has escaped poverty without integrating into the global economy. Furthermore he argued that there are a lot of studies showing that aid can do more harm than good to the country it is intending to help.

Anna Hagemann Rise agreed with this standpoint, but had a different perspective. Rise explained that she was not aware of any case where aid had worked but she has seen trade work. She illustrated her arguments with first hand experiences from fruit farm trips, to Malawi and Guatemala in particular. She explained that after visiting developing countries, working on fruit farms with local employees and talking to the local villagers, it became clear that the simple export of fruit to europe is capable of generating employment, infrastructure, investment, healthcare and education.

We were not expecting to solve the issue of ‘trade or aid’ in one morning but we were very please with the outcome. The goal of this seminar was to put this issue back in the headlines to say hey, listen, there is a problem here. What are we going to do about it? We want to inspire and motivate policy makes, people from the private sector, the general public to get involved and ultimately find a solution. We want to spread our stories of trade in the developing world and prove that trade works against poverty

Read 8 reasons why trade is an engine for development 

We are very much looking forward to come back to Almedalsveckan next year, overflowing with even more stories and examples of how trade is fighting poverty.


fruit on a mission- the book.

fruit on a mission- trade not aid

as many of you already know, we at froosh are doing our ‘something good’ for the world by actively engaging in a program to drive up the awareness of the benefits of trade with developing countries. at least half of the fruit in our smoothies come from fruit farms in developing countries, and we ourselves trade extensively with the developing world. we source passion fruits from ethiopia, bananas from guatemala and mangoes from india, so it goes without saying, this is a subject we hold very close to our hearts.

we wanted to make a bigger deal out of this so for the past 4 years we have been running our fruit farm program in order to educate ourselves and others about the benefits these fruit farms deliver to rural economies in poor countries. we learn about how the simple export of fruit to europe has generated employment, infrastructure, investment, healthcare and education.

So how better to capture our amazing experiences we’ve witnessed on our many trips to fruit farms than to preserve them in a colourful and enticing coffee table book. ‘fruit on a mission’ is the result and we are very happy that we now can share the success stories to even more people!

Open book

fruit on a mission will take you on a journey through parts of the developing world. from malawi mangoes in malawi and africajuice in ethiopia, to mr. siri’s coconut farm in thailand and tropilight in guatemala. the book retells the real life stories from the farm’s employees and it is through these amazing stories that we have learnt how the simple export of fruit to europe can generate employment, infrastructure, investment, healthcare and education.

If you would like to buy a copy of fruit on a mission or have any other queries, you’re more than welcome to contact anna hagemann rise at

8 Reasons why Trade is an Engine for Development.

froosh, fruit farms, trade, trade not aid, international development, africa

1. Trade with developing countries provides us with the delicious fruit we have in our bottles.
At least 50% of the fruit in our bottles come from developing countries. Buying fruit from a fruit farm in a developing country essentially creates jobs, funds the development of health clinics, electricity and road construction and ultimately changes lives. That’s why we are so passionate about it.

2. Trade stimulates economic growth.
When countries open up to trade they benefit because they can sell more and they can buy more, giving both their GDP and economy a [vitamin] boost.

3. Trade creates jobs.
Trade creates local business opportunities which require local staff for both white and blue collar positions.

4. Trade is a far more sustainable tool for poverty reduction than aid. 
Nobody wants to live their life on aid. Being able to provide for yourself and your family is vital for people in the developing world as much as everywhere else. Not only does aid often end up in the wrong pockets; it has paid for weapons, fuelled wars and encouraged corruption.

froosh, trade, trade not aid, LEDCs, developing countries, international developement, farmer5. Trade helps reduce corruption among businesses. Local businesses dependency on foreign investment makes them work as efficiently as possible, with much thought and planning behind their actions. Having to justify corporate spending and profit making as well as loss to its investors encourages the business to be more accountable of its actions and requires transparent operations.

6. Trade provides long term basis for international cooperation.
Long term international cooperation means long term cash flow as the trade agreement is usually in the best interest of both parties involved. In contrast to the flow of aid which tends to be less predictable. If the developed country is going through a difficult economic period the aid budget is an easy target to cut.

7. Trade allows for more money to be invested in education and skills.
a recent trip to Guatemala we got to experience first-hand the benefits of trade. We visited a plantation where trading fruit with the developing world had contributed to building and running a school for children and a program to qualify children for university.

8. Trade encourages innovation.
Trade encourages innovation by facilitating exchange and know-how of technology, ideas and information across boarders.

Got questions, comments or a stong opinion? We could talk about this forever and love to discuss so let us know.
For more info about our fruit farm program check out our website:
Get social with us on facebook, twitter, instagram, youtube We look forward to hearing from you.

anna shares our fruit farm story and spotlights our political mission – ‘trade not aid’ in SustainAbility interview.

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Anna Hagemann Rise, Group Communications and CSR manager, interviewed for a
different role at Froosh but within minutes she and the CEO were talking politics and it ended with him asking if she would like to run the Fruit Farm Programme. She talks to Zoë Arden about the company’s connections with the countries from which it sources. fruit experts.

Zoë Arden: What is the Fruit Farm Programme and what does it mean for Froosh?

Anna Hagemann Rise: A couple of years ago, the Fruit Farm Programme was a side project. Now its something that all the countries that we operate in want to be involved in and more staff are involved. I’ve spent the last two years building the programme. In 2014, we did 7 trips, we have 11 planned for 2015. I invite media, customers, people in the public sphere who we identify with and who share our values and do this in order to tell our story and open some doors. But it’s not just about trips but to build the political message. I also present once a week at either a conference or a university, explaining the political mission of the company – trade not aid.

How important is it for the Fruit Farm Programme to be connected to the business?

The connection is highly important. This is not a marketing campaign for us. We ran the Fruit Farm Programme for two years before we got media involved. What’s important for us is that staff are fully involved. Unfortunately, there are many brands in the fruit and beverage sector for whom sustainability just means branding. They do it for marketing. They are talking but
without really doing anything. Here at Froosh, a strong connection with the fruit farmers is key to our business.

As a company, you have been fairly outspoken on the need for “trade, not aid”. How do you respond to the argument that communities need “trade AND aid” – particularly countries like Malawi that have suffered decades of underdevelopment?

We are stressing trading with developing countries and the breaking down of trade barriers that are still relevant today. I studied international development 15 years ago and the same issues are still around. We should make it easier for countries to trade, not bog them down in obstacles and quotas. We see that fruit farms are making a difference.

Obviously we support humanitarian aid, it’s important in crises. What we want to question is the benefit of development-related aid. We have seen a number of examples of where it has backfired, particularly in Malawi, and has made it harder for business to grow. For example, NGOs give out free tomato seeds to poor farmers in a village. They all go to the market at the same time to sell the tomatoes, so they don’t get a good price and end up feeding them to their cattle. We see this again and again. Another example is that NGOs have a tendency to offer high salaries that are higher than local businesses offer. Whilst well-intentioned, if all the biologists and chemists go to a Danish NGO, private businesses can’t compete for the educated workforce. We are not saying all NGOs are doing a bad thing; we just want people to figure out how to do the best.

How do NGOs respond?

It’s difficult to have a constructive dialogue when you are questioning how they operate. It doesn’t always go down very well for obvious reasons. However, now the media is getting involved. One example of a high profile about-turn is Bono. He just did a big emotional rock star-ish public realisation on what aid organisations have done wrong. We’re at the point where we need to see how to make the most difference. Is a donor relationship the best way? I have a personal example from the last time
I was in Malawi. I was working on a farm and at the end of the day I was sitting by the lake, enjoying the sun setting. Whilst sitting there, I find out that the President has just bought 7 armed patrol vessels to put on Lake Malawi at a cost of millions of dollars. For what? What’s the threat? It’s completely absurd.

How do you measure your impact in communities?

It would be nice to have a clear correlation between the mangoes we buy and the number of schools being built, but it’s not that easy. I can say that when we work with farmers, we specify that as long as quality and price is right, we will always buy our fruit from them. If they can show that commitment from European buyers it means they have a bigger chance of getting more funds. In Malawi, where they are moving a part of their production to organic banana production, it means farmers can get the extra resources they need. If you talk to anyone who has been on one of our trips, we take our smoothies with us and it gives the farmers incredible pride to see the end product. We also invite them here and we have a Malawian farm manager visiting us next month in Copenhagen.

What evidence do you have that consumers care about the fruit farms?

Here in Scandinavia, there is a growing interest in knowing where food products are from and the conditions in which they are grown. If you launch a new product in this region, you are expected to have a related CSR initiative. We show the range of initiatives that we are supporting and get a lot of positive feedback.

What advice would you have for other businesses with regard to understanding their value chains better?

In terms of strategy, it’s very important that your CSR activity is linked closely to your actual product. For us, it’s obvious that the connection is the tropical fruit from developing countries. Unfortunately, the value of corporate social responsibility has been eroded by some companies. The most important thing is to get the management support. I’ve worked in big companies where CSR is seen by management as a headache. When it’s difficult to quantify benefits, management support is crucial.

Anna was talking to…


Zoë Arden @zoearden A director in the London office, Zoë specialises in sustainability strategy, stakeholder engagement and storytelling. She has recently completed a Masters in Sustainability Leadership at Cambridge University.

 click to download full Issue, Radar: Issue 06.

machetes, mango trees and fish soup for breakfast: froosh goes coconuts in thailand


For one week 12 of us dug holes, cut leaves (yes with machetes!), sailed on rafts in between islands of mango-trees, had fish-soup for breakfast and crawled up palm trees to extract the coconut juice from the coconuts! We had an amazing time, learned so much about the fruit we use in froosh, and of course met a lot of very happy fruit farmers on the way.

Fruit is not just of vital importance to the development of rural areas in Africa, it is very important for the economy in more developed countries like Thailand. Fruit means everything to these farmers, and it is very important to produce fruit good enough to export and building lucrative trade relationships. Thailand has done very well in terms of trading, and the country has managed to become known for their excellence in growing fruit of various sorts, particularly coconuts. We were more than honoured to get the chance to learn from the fruit growers, get our hands dirty in the fields and taking one step closer to becoming fruit experts.

Pssst… did you notice you can access all the latest news from the fruit farm program from the webpage directly at: