Blue Skies

About Blue Skies

Blue Skies is a fresh fruit cutting company based in Ghana which has factories worldwide and who export freshly cut fruit to supermarkets in Europe like Sainsbury's. Blue Skies was set up by Anthony Pile who was encouraged by Dr Julia Piper, foundation trustee to set up the factory in the face of adversity. The factory now survives day to day challenges in difficult conditions to successfully provide Europe with fresh cut fruit. The Foundation were hosted by Blue Skies on our two visits to Ghana in 2007 and 2008. You can read more about our work on the Budukwaa community centre performed with Blue Skies on our Budukwaa page. Blue Skies won the Queens award for sustainability for two years running thanks to its fantastic work in the community Blue Skies has initiated a website where you can trace the freshly cut fruit you buy back to the farmer.

Blue Skies goes above and beyond to provide it's local communities with resources they need, including water wells, football pitches, electricity generators, clinics, libraries, nutritious food and so on. You can read more about their work in the information below. Some support and donations you give us may go to programs such as these carried out by Blue Skies who we work with directly due to our unique relationship.

Blue Skies has factories in Ghana, Egypt, South Africa and Brazil and exports to European Supermarkets like Sainsbury's and Waitrose. You can buy their freshly cut fruit in your local store. When we visited their factory in Ghana we stayed in a colonial style guest house near their factory and visited their plantations where they grow the fruit, the communities involved and the factory where the fruit is made.

Blue Skies do a lot of work as mentioned in the communities surrounding their factory. They also help protect the environment with their composting facility. The Blue Skies staff were very friendly during our visit, delighted with Blue Skies as a company and we were guided well by them during our visit.

Below is a video about Blue Skies from their Care Trace website.

Below is a video talking about the community and people at Blue Skies, some of who wet me including Gloria and Alastair during our visits.

You can read the Blue Skies foundation newsletter here which talks about some of the work that has been done by Blue Skies for the surrounding communities.

Here is a link to the Blue Skies Foundation Report in which Dr Julia Piper and the Buduwkaa program are mentioned.

You can read an account of our second visit to Ghana by Mike Piper which describes the community in colour and detail.

How we work with Blue Skies

The foundation visited Blue Skies on two occasions in 2007 and 2008. During those visits the foundation performed some charity work which included Dr Piper performing some acupuncture on a nurse who had had a stroke, and back injury lectures to employees with back pains. We also used these visits to assess Blue Skies' community work and whether and how we could work with them.

We found that Blue Skies were excellent at helping their surrounding communities through providing schools, KVIP latrines, Bore Holes, school children's clothes, electricity generators, teachers quarters amongst others showing that they go above and beyond to help communities and were able to complete programs. The factory had a very professional, colonial and family like atmosphere showing they had the right values and abilities to manage programs effectively. We visited some of the rural communities where items such as bore holes had been provided seeing the effects of Blue Skies' work with our own eyes.

Blue skies also helped its factory staff by providing a rare library, IT centre, nutritious food, and medical centre, which are all regularly used and help educate and heal factory workers. We also noted that local communities were very much in need and how much they appreciated Blue Skies' help. Our summary was that Blue Skies were an excellent company to work with who could help us act as on the ground partners who could carry out and manage programs to completion.

We work with Blue Skies, through the Blue Skies Foundation. The Blue Skies Foundation selects around 50 programs each year of which the council and board then approve a few. Each community has a leader which represents them for up to 3 years to recommend programs to the council. The programs are selected by the council based on having sound plans for sustaining facilities, serving enough people and being cost effective, and based on how they benefit populations.

During the later stages of the process the foundation manager visits community leaders and communities to assess the applications and ensure that budgets, plans and contractors are all going to work effectively. The programs are eventually selected by the Blue Skies board and we provide funds for programs among other donors. In addition we occasionally visit Blue Skies at the Ghana premises, and we have asked for program videos, pictures, community gifts, program testimonials and evaluations to be available for you on our website for programs we are involved in. We use the program evaluation reports, program testimonials, program pictures, budgets, financial reports, meetings, discussions and visits to ensure that programs are completed on budget and on time, and continue to benefit the communities for years to come.