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Sustainable Stories: interesting visit from Zambia by WeForest

At Duvel Moortgat, sustainability is extremely important to us. That is why our organization Duvel Moortgat has been a proud partner of WeForest since 2018. WeForest's mission is to preserve and restore forests and landscapes and involves the communities of the region in their implementation.

Duvel Moortgat specifically supports the Copperbelt project in Zambia. On Monday we received a visit to our brewery in Breendonk from Fainess Lumbwe, the person responsible for the project supported by Duvel Moortgat.

Can you explain a bit more about the Copperbelt project?

"Sure! Within this project we support local communities in the Copperbelt region in planting forests and repairing damaged trees. By renewing these forests, water, soil and air quality improve, jobs are created and the climate is better regulated. "

"In addition, the forests also provide food and other products with which communities can generate long-term income. For example, by installing beehives in the forests or picking fruit and vegetables, families and communities can earn an income in a much more sustainable way and for a much longer period of time."

Why is there so much deforestation in Zambia?

"After the collapse of copper mining, an economic disaster for the population followed. Many families lost their jobs and had to look for alternatives to generate income."

"Many families moved to wooded regions to cut trees for charcoal extraction, which they could sell. In the places where all the trees had disappeared, other families could do agriculture for a while. Unfortunately, after a while the soil became infertile and the inhabitants had to find other locations to cut down trees and do agriculture. The result was that a certain piece of land only provided income for a short period of time."

What positive impact have you been able to make?

"Thanks to the support of Duvel Moortgat, we have already been able to restore 625 hectares of forest, good for about 750,000 trees. That area corresponds to 750 football fields."

"We have already trained more than 1800 farmers and thanks to the knowledge they acquired, they can grow and maintain the forests on an independent basis and for a longer period of time. In this way, they can take care of their own income and restore nature."

"A good example of this is Mrs. Tembo, who, as a single mother, can plant and sell cabbage thanks to the support of Duvel Moortgat. You can read more about that here ."

Finally, how did you like our brewery?

"Fantastic. It is very nice to see how your brewery works and especially how you are committed to sustainability. I particularly loved the beehives. We also have that in Zambia, just a little more: 5800 beehives to be specific."

Do you want to know more about the project? Watch this video or follow the collaboration via this website.