Recently, I received a news release from Rodelle Inc., a baking and cooking essentials company in Fort Collins, Colo., announcing the launch of its “Ugandan Stove Project” collaboration with nonprofit organization Trees Water People. Because Rodelle sources vanilla beans from a network of 9,000 farmers in Uganda, it chose to celebrate its 75th year in business with an undertaking that will support farmers, the environment and the local economy.
In the release, Dan Berlin, a partner at the company, states, “More than 80% of families cook over open wood fires in Uganda and cannot afford electric or gas stoves, or access to alternative fuel sources.” While this was an interesting fact to discover, I didn’t fully understand the magnitude of the statement. What I found after doing some research is that this global issue affects many Third World countries. To give you a better understanding of the problem, and what this specialty flavor producer is doing to support its network of farmers, I’ve outlined some quick points on the topic.
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Rodelle’s commitment to its farmers may only chip away at the global environmental and health-related issues associated with open fire cooking, but the company's work is setting a great example for other companies to follow—as well as raising awareness of the issue. Trees Water People, Rodelle’s project-partner built almost 47,000 fuel-efficient stoves to combat these problems around the world from 1998–2010, and many other organizations also have worked tirelessly to gain attention. Supporting companies like Rodelle, who are using its "Food for Change," can help get other companies and individuals involved.
1. Partnership for Clean Indoor Air (PCIA)
2. Joe Basta, Partner with Rodelle Inc. | foodspring.com Q & A
3. The World Bank
4. Hedon Household Energy Network
5. National Environment Management Authority - Uganda
6. Trees Water People
7. Carbonify.com Carbon Calculator
8. Dan Berlin, Partner with Rodelle, Inc. | Company News Release
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Graphic 1 ("What's so Bad About Open Wood Fires")
Graphic 2 ("What is Rodelle's Stove Project" & "Who Will This Support")
Graphic 1 & Graphic 2