In South Africa, our main channel for supporting enterprises is Mondi Zimele, a Mondi-owned subsidiary, which aims to accelerate community empowerment in the forestry value chain and support small businesses around Mondi’s operations.
Mondi Zimele has also been instrumental in establishing several land claimant community contractors, where we continue to emphasise productivity improvement, business administration and compliance as the key to success for these small and medium enterprises.
Mondi provides post settlement support to the claimants as well as discounted funding and business mentorship to support their contracting businesses so that they continue the sustainable management and certification of fibre production to the mutual long-term benefit of the environment and stakeholders.
Another initiative is the small-scale timber grower programme, which aims to develop emerging forestry growers through skills transfer, financial support, secure markets and other inputs such as quality seedlings. The programme has benefited over 3,435 growers with support from Mondi Zimele since it was launched.
In 2021, some 83,167 tonnes of wood were sourced from rural smallholdings (1-2 hectares each). Mondi Zimele also distributed 1.14 million seedlings in the 2021 planting season and provided training, mill visits and knowledge-sharing field days to eligible small growers. A notable achievement of this programme was, in conjunction with various partners, the achievement of a breakthrough in Forest Stewardship CouncilTM (FSCTM) certification for small-scale timber growers in the CMOs Group Scheme in South Africa 2020.
In 2021, Mondi Zimele supported 29 businesses and provided discounted loan funding of around €686,000, amounting to a total of approximately €8 million since 2012, supporting over 300 local businesses, and contributing to the creation of over 4,500 jobs. This has created revenues in excess of €25 million per annum.
Find more information on Mondi Zimele here.