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"Pay it back – to our ancestors, to our roots, to all of those who produced us."

Yolélé Yolele Fonio Ancient Grain Africa Good Companies Yolélé Yolele Fonio Ancient Grain Africa Good Companies


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Company Description

Yolélé is an African food company centered on a gluten-free, climate-resistant African super grain called fonio.

The company’s stated mission is to improve per capita income and quality of life in rural West Africa. It pursues that goal by building export markets for the region’s unique but undervalued local ingredients, and processing solutions to meet the needs of those markets. In the case of fonio, Yolélé works with agronomists on crop improvement. The company donates 1% of their sales to SOS Sahel, an NGO, to help provide quality of life services like electricity, water, and public gathering places in the villages that grow their grain. They also collaborate with SOS Sahel to recruit, train, and equip a fair trade network of smallholder farmers — mainly women — to grow fonio more productively so that their income can double or triple.

Success for Yolélé means increased food security and sovereignty in West Africa and a re-greening of the arid Sahel region, as fonio takes a larger role in the local diet and anchors the ecosystem to mitigate the effects of climate change. Yolélé is building the world’s first commercial-scale fonio mill in Senegal to meet global quality and volume requirements. The company will monitor and report on its impact.

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Pierre Thiam and Philip Teverow




Brooklyn, NY, United States