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Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) and Sustainability

"The food-versus-fuel debate is
about whether the use of agricultural output for energy purposes competes with its use for food purposes either directly (where the same crop could be used for either food or fuel) or indirectly (where land use for energy crops displaces food crops) and leads to food shortages and/or higher food prices as a result. The debate has been around for a long time, but it was the steep rise in global food prices that started in 2006 that has catapulted the debate to global prominence."
read the rest of the article here: http://www.accenture.com/Countries/Sweden/Research_and_Insights (page 16)

Whatever the discussion, Industries for Africa Foundation has the perfect solution - using non-arable drylands for the growth of jatropha ( a poison plant that happen to like drylands) to produce biodiesel and hereby create arable land around the plantations for foodcrops.
I think the discussions are barking on the wrong tree, mostly cause people are not checking the facts proberly before stating an opinion.
Please correct me if I am wrong - or discuss the topic with me!

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Hi Andrea,

You bring up a good point regarding the "food versus fuel debate". If I remember correctly, 2006 was definitely a year for going "green," all the talk seemed to surround the environment especially with Al Gores film "An Inconvenient Truth" and what we could do to prevent the further onset of greenhouse gases. Back then it seemed like a great idea to use crops to generate fuel, and hopefully lower gas prices. But as it turned out, so many companies were turning to alternative fuels, and in this case crops, and it still hurt everyone with increased global food prices. With the economy in such a slump these days, everyone is looking for anything CHEAP, and this certainly does not help. However, companies are looking for any possible way to reduce costs and this is why the economic slump has a green lining. (Please see my blog post regarding this topic here) Companies are turning to renewable energies to lower their costs.

In reference to the Africa Foundation, it seems like a great idea to use non-arable drylands for the growth of jatropha to produce biodiesel, and as a result this would hopefully lower food prices around the world when food crops are not being used.

Anyways, I took a stab at answering your question and hopefully sparking a discussion!
Hi Ken(neth)!

Thanks for the response, i read your blog too! Actually, I found this website through facebook and decided to try and get some good contacts, I am a voluntar worker for that Africa Foundation, (www.industriesforafrica.com) andtry hard to spread the word.
A lot of people already are thinking the right way, but most of them don´t know what to do or how to start to change things globally, big scale instead of just make a contribution in your backyard.
For the earth to get better reasoable fast, we all need to work together, make one huge effort, and work on the same "road", instead of working all those small pathways.
I don´t want to say that its wrong trying and doing all those little things, just thinking that we could achieve so much more faster if we worked together.
Thanks for sparking the discussion, I love feedback!
How about checking out the foundation homepage and let me know what you think, maybe you even can give me an idea on how to spread it more?
Have a nice week!
Andrea
Hi!

I took a look at the site, and you have some great information there! Very interesting material. In terms of "spreading" it more. One bit of advice I would give is that social marketing is huge now, it might be beneficial to spread the word on sites like digg, mixx, or reddit (Those sites give your website to a large audience of people).

Another bit of advice I could give is that at my previous job, I worked as an internet marketing specialist and my job was specifically linked to getting more people to visit our clients websites. I could be wrong but from what it looks like the industries for Africa website is not "optimized". If you properly optimize the website and each of its pages, it would allow each page on your site to be easily searched for on Google for example. As a result of optimizing the site, you should notice an increased amount of search engine traffic, and as an added benefit you would be able to spread the industries for Africa website far more easily.

I hope that helps, and let me know if I can be of any assistance! Have a good weekend!
Very interesting, thanks for the post. Admittedly, I had never heard of Jatropha but I did some digging and found a great article in the WSJ from last year that discusses its potential as a source of bio power! (click here for the article). It's apparently being used in India already as a source of energy, and Goldman Sachs called it "one of the best candidates for future biodiesel production." Definitely worth the read if you have time. Are you guys working with it anywhere in particular at the moment?
Hi Brad,
sorry to say the answer is no, Jatropha does grow wild in a number of places in Africa already and there are some plantations as far as I know of, but we are still working on the prototypes to the machinery needed to process everything.
As right now, we are building a prototype CNC-machine and a tractor working on steam and pellets (the "restproduct" from jatrophanuts when they are being pressed out of oil) which we are having the patents for and giving away for this project.
It´s difficult to explain the whole project in just a couple of meanings, but if you are interested, take a look at our homepage:
http://www.industriesforafrica.com
I would love to hear your opinion on our project in the whole!
Thanks for the reply!
Andrea

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