Andrew started his career in the London advertising industry before a radical life change took him to The Gambia, where he won a UN World Business & Development Award for his work with small-scale producers. In 2012 he co-founded Aduna, an Africa-inspired health food brand and social business, which creates demand for under-utilised natural products from small-scale producers in Africa – starting with the superfoods baobab and moringa. In 2015, Aduna was shortlisted for three Guardian Sustainable Business Awards, won the UKBAA Social Impact Investment of the Year Award, Natwest SE100 Storyteller Award and two Great Taste Golds. Aduna’s range of African superfood powders and energy bars are now sold in more than 2,000 stores in 18 countries. Through the company’s baobab fruit value chain, 700 women in Upper East Ghana are receiving sustainable income flows. Andrew holds an MBA (distinction) from Saïd Business School, University of Oxford.
"From micro farming to macro markets: transforming a never-heard-of ingredient into a trending global superfood – and creating a new sustainable business model for rural Africa"
Abstract: Five years ago, nobody had heard of the African baobab fruit. Today it’s one of London’s best-selling superfoods and is taking the UK – and 18 other international markets – by storm. Five years ago, baobab trees were lying unharvested across Northern Ghana’s impoverished savannah. Today they’re providing sustainable livelihoods for almost 1,000 women. In creating health food brand and social business Aduna, Andrew has turned the traditional aid model on its head by investing, not in speculative production projects for low-value commodities, but in driving the creation of new markets for high-potential underutilised crops. Aduna is a masterclass in how to create a market from scratch and a blueprint for a new style of social enterprise.
• The business model – Aduna’s vision to create a sustainable industry that can support up to 10 million African households – through trade not aid.
• The journey so far – how Aduna harnessed grassroots marketing and volunteers to take baobab from obscurity to London’s best-selling superfood.
• Transforming stereotypes – from ‘sympathy-vote marketing’ to aspirational and vibrant Africa-inspired premium brand.
• What’s next in the pipeline? How Aduna will replicate the baobab model for other natural products across Africa.