SPAR empowers communities through responsible retailing

The Story

SPAR’s passion for sustainable growth is achieved through transformational retailing, and creates a chain of empowerment from the ground up.

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Leydah Sekgobela was taught the secrets of farming by her industrious mother when she was still very young. She says her mother was a fabulous woman – her hero – who impressed upon her to work diligently, and showed her how to nurture her crops. Following in her mother’s footsteps, Leydah flourished into a successful farmer in Limpopo’s Mopani district. Noticing her incredible potential, she was included in SPAR’s Rural Hub Project. Along with six other small-scale farmers in the area, Leydah received specialised training, growing plans, and mechanisation that enabled these farmers to take their businesses to the next level. Along with training, SPAR also provides a reliable market for their produce, which is first sold to a pack-house facility, and then on to local SPAR stores and other available outlets.

Through SPAR’s assistance, Leydah was able to graduate from small-scale farming to commercial farming, and today employs 16 people. It is an incredible achievement. She appoints women only because, she says, they work fast, and “they know what they are doing”. By passing on the skills obtained from her mother, along with the new skills she acquired from SPAR, Leydah is, in turn, empowering these female farmers to thrive. It is SPAR’s aim to develop them to the point where they become self-sufficient, and it is transformational retailing practices like these that enables SPAR to create a chain of empowerment from the ground up.

All SPAR stores are independently owned by entrepreneurs. These business owners are provided the opportunity to be part of a big brand like SPAR, yet retain their independence as retailers.

Kevin O’Brien, a Risk and Sustainability Executive at SPAR, believes that sustainability stretches further than the environment, and that business has the potential to address important issues in society. Along with empowering small-scale farmers, a further link in the SPAR chain of empowerment is its retailers. All SPAR stores are independently owned by entrepreneurs. These business owners are provided the opportunity to be part of a big brand like SPAR, yet retain their independence as retailers.

Dan Maluleke started out running a family-owned general dealer in Soshanguve. Again demonstrating their knack to spot potential, SPAR invested in Dan’s business by conducting feasibility studies and providing him with produce. Today, Dan owns 11 SPAR stores and employs more than a thousand people, and his pride in – and passion for – retail and the communities he serves, is evident in the success of his businesses.

SPAR’s purpose is to inspire individuals to be more and do more. As an organisation it does not only provide a well-known brand and support. It also includes those along its chain of empowerment into the SPAR family. They believe it’s very important that the products which find their way into consumers’ baskets, get there as a result of the values upheld by SPAR. However, it is the hard work and commitment of the small-scale farmers and retailers in this family which forms an enormous part of the reason why they are able to deliver what they do as an organisation.

Short Films

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Making a difference with small-scale farming

The partnership between SPAR and their suppliers allows individuals to be more and do more. See how small-scale farming can make a difference, even to global organisations – such as SPAR.

3 minute story overview

A chain of empowerment from the ground up

The journey from farm produce to a SPAR retail shelf is an interesting one. Watch the supply chain unfold with the combined vision and commitment from the small-scale farmers to the retail store entrepreneurs.

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The SPAR Community

Dan Maluleke started out running a family-owned general dealer in Soshanguve.

SPAR invested in Dan’s business by conducting feasibility studies, and providing him with produce. Today, Dan owns 11 SPAR stores and employs more than a 1000 people, and his pride in – and passion for – retail and the communities he serves, is evident in the success of his businesses.

Sustainable Practices

Kevin O’Brien, a Risk and Sustainability Executive at SPAR, believes that sustainability stretches further than the environment, and that business has the potential to address important issues in society.

SPAR’s purpose is to inspire individuals to be more and do more. The commitment shown between SPAR’s farmers and retail stores is very much a part of why they are able to deliver the exceptional quality that they do.

Small-Scale Farmers

SPAR believes that developing sustainable small-scale farmers is truly what our country needs.

The South African agricultural landscape was dominated by commercial farming, but there are a vast number of small-scale farmers who do not have an access to market. SPAR is changing this by developing local economies and including more small-scale farmers in their value chain.

From Farm to Fork

As a consumer, we take a lot for granted when walking into a supermarket. When was the last time you asked yourself, “Where did that product actually come from?”.

The journey of produce – from SPAR’s small-scale farms, packaged, and delivered to your local SPAR retailer, is quite an involved, sustainable, and interesting story.

Developing Local Economies

Meet Leydah Sekgobela, who through SPAR’s assistance was able to graduate from small-scale farming to commercial farming.

By passing on the skills obtained from her mother, along with the new skills acquired from SPAR, Leydah is, in turn, empowering her female farmers to thrive.