NFU Director raises over £12,000 for Farm Africa

26 September 2023

#TeamMahale pose for a group photo in front of the Mahale Mountains in Tanzania.

NFU Director of Trade and Business Strategy Nick von Westenholz has so far raised over £12,000 after completing the Mahale Mountains Challenge1 for farming charity Farm Africa2. The donations will go to aid farmers in East Africa and reduce poverty by helping rural families grow their incomes.

The challenge involved an 80km hike in temperatures reaching 35 degrees celsius across the rugged terrain of the Mahale Mountain range in western Tanzania. The journey led the team through mixed woodland, bamboo forests and rolling plains in a landscape very rarely visited by humans. After six days, the team finished on the shores of Lake Tanganyika, before returning to Tanzania’s main city, Dar es Salaam, where they met with a number of food producers and businesses to hear how they are benefitting from Farm Africa’s projects in the country.

Nick completed the challenge alongside eleven other professionals from the food and farming sector, including NFU horticulture board member Julian Marks who led the expedition. Together #TeamMahale has raised over £215,000 for Farm Africa so far.

Nick said: “I’d like to express my immense gratitude to everyone who has donated to this cause. I’ve raised more than double my initial target, which really highlights the importance of Farm Africa’s charitable work.

“I’d also like to thank the rest of the team and say a massive well done. Our extraordinary journey, while at times challenging and tiring, has reinforced the importance of addressing the shared challenges we face in farming and producing food across the world.

“Farming in the UK and Tanzania have many obvious differences, but challenges such as climate change, volatile supply chains and food security are universal concerns and it is more crucial than ever that we stand together to drive positive change.”

Farm Africa Head of Partnerships Anissa Msallem said: "Farmers across eastern Africa continue to face unprecedented challenges. Conflict and climate change threaten to push farming communities further into poverty. Eastern Africa is experiencing the worst drought in at least 40 years, decimating lives and livelihoods. By raising funds for Farm Africa, Team Mahale will help transform the lives of farmers in eastern Africa and protect important natural habitats, and we’re very grateful for their support.”

More information

  1. The Mahale Mountains Challenge took place from 16-21 September 2023. Read about the challenge and the team’s updates here.
  2. Farm Africa is an international charity reducing poverty in eastern Africa by helping farmers grow more, sell more and sell for more.