Two products from Cheetah Conservation Fund (CCF) have been certified as wildlife friendly by the Wildlife Friendly Enterprise Network (WFEN).
The products are the CCF’s Bushblok charcoal made from encroaching bushes that are cut down and the Dancing Goat Creamery dairy products and they are the first Namibian products to be certified wildlife friendly. Certified Wildlife Friendly products initiative develops, certifies and promotes products and practices that conserve endangered wildlife while contributing to the economic vitality of rural areas.
“We’ve been involved with WFEN since its inception,” says Dr. Laurie Marker, Founder and Executive Director of CCF. “We believe strongly in the power of consumer choice to promote conservation. By allowing those who utilise predator-friendly farming practices to promote their products with a certification, you create a premium on those products that benefits both the farmer and the predators.”
“It is a proud moment for us to be certified as this shows that it is possible to produce an income while protecting the environment,” Patricia Tricorache, Assistant Director of International Programme at CCF told The Namibian early this week. CCF has been involved with the United States-based WFEN since its inception.
Tricorache said that CCF is an example of how to protect the environment and animals while producing both Bushbloks charcoal and the goat cheese in a sustainable way.
“It is a great example that others can emulate,” she said.
The CCF invests the proceeds from the sale of Dancing goat cheese and the Bushblok charcoal in their efforts to conserve wild cheetah populations in the country. Bushblok charcoal is a low emission and high efficiency charcoal processed from cleared thorn bush. This opens up the veld for grazing. More than 15 goats produce milk for the Dancing goat creamery cheese, ice cream and other products that can be purchased at the CCF conservation centre near Otjiwarongo, in Windhoek as well as in Swakopmund. CCF’s Feta is a firm, salted, fresh cheese, cured in brine, available as cut blocks in light salt brine, or as a small cheese wheel. CCF’s Chèvre is a soft, light textured, goat cheese with mild flavour. Chèvre is sold as a log in vacuum packs or in bulk containers for larger quantities.
Dancing Goat Creamery cheeses, ice creams, and fudge are available for purchase every day at the Cheetah Conservation Fund’s Centre
The Bushblok charcoal was awarded Tech Museum Intel Prize for the environment in 2008 and was one of the only 12 finalists for the prestigious 2009 BBC World Challenge.
Bushblok is useful for cooking fires, braai, home heating and industrial heat applications, has a 0.35-0.5% ash content and is classified as a smokeless fuel.
Founded in Namibia (Africa) in 1990, Cheetah Conservation Fund (CCF) is the global leader in research and conservation of cheetahs. CCF is dedicated to saving the cheetah in the wild. CCF’s Founder and Executive Director, Dr. Laurie Marker, an American biologist, is considered one of the world’s foremost experts on cheetah biology, ecology and conservation and has developed CCF’s conservation strategy, which has contributed to increasing the wild cheetah population in Namibia by ~50%.
Date: 20 September 2013