GIG won the Best for Poverty Reduction Award for being ‘a local project of international significance' by Virgin Holidays Sustainable Tourism Awards in November 2008. In addition they were also one of ten winners of the 2008 World Business and Development Awards (WBDA) for their part in creating ‘Gambia is Good' (GiG) in partnership with Concern Universal and DFID's Business Linkage Challenge Fund.
Gambia is Good (GiG), is a dynamic and progressive social enterprise striving to improve local farmer livelihoods since 2004. GiG works to connect poor rural farmers to the country’s lucrative tourist market, increasing earnings, reducing the need for imported produce, encouraging an entrepreneurial spirit among producers and diversifying the agricultural crop base of The Gambia.
Training, supporting and purchasing from approximately 1000 farmers, GiG is providing tangible economic and social benefits to local communities in the Western and North Bank Regions. It is not only benefiting local growers but is providing the best quality and freshest produce directly to the doorsteps of hotels and restaurants and in turn, raising the standard of quality and variety of local fruits and vegetables.
The inspiring vision of GiG grew out of a unique collaboration between Concern Universal (an international NGO), Haygrove (a leading UK organic fruit producer), and has for the past 3 years been supported (funded) by The Travel Foundation (an NGO focused on sustainable tourism). As a social enterprise, one of the goals of GiG is financial sustainability, with the plan of investing any surplus into additional farmer trainings. This innovative development model has resulted in huge success for the project as well as international recognition.
GIG now purchases from nearly 1,000 growers, 90% of which are women. Of its core suppliers a transition has been made from subsistence agriculture to commercial enterprise. Women in the most rural communities, where they had previously virtually no cash income, are now making up to £150 per month. Recent independent states that over the last three years, GiG growers have increased their income by an average of 500%.