gold Youth and gold Food, together “gold”, is a systems approach to addressing the wide and varied challenges Africa and African youth face. It addresses related supply, demand and linkage challenges to youth unemployment, food security and the local food economy by raising awareness, educating and training young people, connecting them to opportunities in the food system, providing pathways to further education or training, employment, enterprise and agropreneurship, paying particular attention to disadvantaged and dislocated communities.
Local food systems increase grower income by as much as 5x, create 4.5x more jobs, and have an economic multiplier of up to 2.5x. They also:
- Enable consumers to obtain food items with superior quality characteristics, e.g. freshness, flavour, ripeness, enhanced shelf life;
- Teach consumers about farming practices used (often directly from growers) which, in turn, engenders trust in the integrity and quality of the food they purchase;
- Deepen the relationship between the consumer, the grower and the land;
- Support agriculture and small business development in local communities;
- Preserve local farmland / open space by supporting economically productive use of land; and
- Improve food security and mitigate supply chain risk.
gold Farms are training, demonstration and incubation farms that sell their produce through a farm shop. gold Farms consists of training and demonstration plots, portions of land that are leased by gold Grads who want to become growers, who are trained, mentored and supported to become successful farmers, i.e. incubated. Produce from gold Farms is supplied to gold Fresh.
gold Fresh is a pack house / food hub that aggregates and distributes locally sourced produce (a detailed description of a food hub is provided below).
gold Made processes gold Fresh produce into salads and other higher value goods and products. At scale, gold Made could become a food processor, aggregating the supply of all gold Farms and gold Foods’ network of outgrowers.