Through his involvement in various travel companies operating nature and wildlife trips, Ralf soon realized the importance of protecting these sensitive areas. Upon researching the effects of global warming, it became apparent that a responsible travel company worth its name needed to build a carbon compensation scheme into its products.
It therefore made perfect sense for Ralf’s company, Southbound Travel Group, to partner up with Central African Wilderness Safaris and expand their existing tree planting project on the shores of Lake Malawi to form Root to Fruit in 2012. It gives him a great sense of pride and satisfaction to see not only the trees grow – but also the project itself and the people involved.
Ralf’s main occupation is as Managing Director for Southbound Travel Group, but running the European branch of Root to Fruit goes very much hand in hand with this work.
When asked why Root to Fruit had become so difficult to walk away from, she explained “The project is unique as a carbon offset initiative. It facilitates carbon offsetting on behalf of individuals or organisations but simultaneously ensures the safeguard of the trees themselves, which are nurtured and protected for the long term. This is facilitated directly through the buy-in of the community, thus fulfilling the real purpose of a tree. Unsurprisingly, the longer a tree lives, the more it can give; be that enrichment of soils, increasing number of fruits, developed root structures to prevent soil erosion or better performance as a carbon sink.
The community element of the project provides a deeper and strengthened level to the tree planting. The trees become an inherent part of the peoples’ lives because they are the individuals and communities that benefit directly from them. Thus, this multifaceted model enables success for both the people purchasing trees to offset their carbon footprint and the communities directly gaining from the benefits of planting their trees.
Undoubtedly the truest way to promote reforestation is to encourage the survival of the trees once they are physically planted in the ground, and I have seen that the time invested by the Root to Fruit teams into empowering the communities to invest in the trees as well, can facilitate this.”
Our main office is within the beautiful grounds of Chintheche Inn, located just 40 minutes south of Nkhata Bay, in the Northern Region of Malawi.
Root to Fruit Ltd.
C/O Chintheche Inn
P.O. Box 9
Chintheche, Nkhata Bay,
+265 11 193 1045
Our European office is situated in the city centers of Göteborg, Sweden
Root to Fruit AB
417 65 GÖTEBORG