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Anna Hagemann Rise of Froosh Photo: Rasmus Flindt Pedersen
Anna Hagemann Rise of Froosh Photo: Rasmus Flindt Pedersen

The power of fruit

The people who work at smoothie company Froosh have high ambitions. As well as promoting the ­benefits of fresh fruit, they also want to reduce poverty in the developing world.

About Froosh smoothies

Froosh smoothies are made of 100% fresh fruit, without preservatives or added sugar. The original Froosh bottle is made of glass. The shorty smoothie, which is sold on all SAS flights in Europe, contains 150ml, or one portion of fruit, and is packed in a container made from environmentally friendly cardboard. 

Froosh was founded in 2008 when the fresh and healthy takeout food and beverage trend was booming in the US and UK. The people at Froosh felt that the Nordic markets were ready for fresh smoothies, too.They started creating smoothies made purely from fresh fruit, without any preservatives or added sugar. They distributed them in glass bottles, which are more environmentally friendly than plastic bottles.

It turned out that the Nordic markets were more than ready for fresh fruit smoothies. Froosh grew from having three employees in Stockholm to having offices in Copenhagen, Stockholm, Oslo, Helsinki and Japan. Today, over 60 people work at Froosh. And the company has high ambitions, says Anna Hagemann Rise, Communication and Public Affairs Director at Froosh. As well as trying to get people to drink more fresh smoothies packed with vitamins from healthy fruit, the company wants to help reduce poverty in developing countries through promoting trade.

“Trade is key for sustainable development in poor countries,” says Hagemann Rise. “At least 50% of the fruit we buy to make our smoothies comes from developing countries and mostly from pretty small fruit farms that are sometimes run by a family or a single farmer.”

The company believes that these small fruit farmers can play a major role in helping their countries become more prosperous through job creation, generating foreign exchange and tax revenues. And by promoting this philosophy through its “fruit on a mission” program, Froosh hopes to support the farmers they work with and bring the message that trade can generate prosperity in a sustainable way to the wider world. 

 Kevas George, a banana orchard worker in Malawi. Froosh hopes to support the farmers they work with through the message of trade not aid. Photo: Nicky de Silva

“We cannot continue to believe that we can only help a poor country by sending them aid money,” says Hagemann Rise. “If we instead trade with them, we will help them to develop by themselves, through business. We call it trade, not aid.”

Anna Hagemann Rise is passionate about the role responsible business can play in reducing poverty. Photo: Rasmus Flindt Pedersen

As part of their fruit on a mission program, every staff member at Froosh gets to travel to fruit farms in the developing world to learn all they can about fruit and see with their own eyes the impact trade can have on building prosperous communities.

“First of all, we want our staff to know all about the fruit we use in our smoothies,” says Hagemann Rise. “How it is harvested and grown. But it’s also important that they get to see the living conditions of the farm workers and the impact the farms have on the communities. The income the farmer gets can help improve the living standards for the entire village. For instance, the profit from a banana plantation in Guatemala we work with has enabled the farmers to buy a small house that they don’t have to pay rent for. They have built a school and even have classes for children with disabilities. They have also built a church and a health clinic for the workers and their families. In Ethiopia, we have also witnessed schools being built and teachers being paid as well as lunches being provided for the children – by the farms.”

Hagemann Rise is very passionate about the role responsible business can play in reducing poverty. And she loves to spread the word about how trade can help reduce poverty. She gives speeches regularly at different universities and business fairs. 

“We also attended WomenDeliver this spring, the largest gathering in the world on women rights,” she says. “And we got the chance to present our mission to the Danish Crown Princess as well as the Danish Minister of Foreign Affairs.”

Text:  Jessica Johansson 

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