Malin Olofsson

Visiting Student

My first degrees were in creative design and education. This led me into the field of development where I worked in various projects supporting community craft initiatives both creatively and in establishing equitable supply chains. This directed me into the area of ethical trade and for the next 5 years I worked for Fairtrade International in South Africa, Kenya and Ghana providing support for small-scale farmers in improving their terms of trade and farm workers in realising basic rights. Somewhat frustrated with mainstream efforts to address trade inequalities I returned to academia in 2013. I completed an MA degree in Development Studies at the International Institute for Social Studies in The Netherlands, majoring in Agrarian and Environmental studies. Following this I embarking on a PhD at the University of Amsterdam. I am now 2 years into my PhD journey, the focus of which is the changing livelihoods of small-scale tree-crop farmers in Venda, Limpopo Province. I am particularly interested in finding out how and to what extent the relatively new phenomenon of tree-crops production for formal markets is altering gender relations, resource access and food production. I have completed my first phase of fieldwork and am now being hosted as a visiting scholar by the Bio-economy Research Chair as I start writing up my dissertation. Alongside my PhD I am a new mother to a little girl who brings me infinite joy. In the rare moments between work and mothering I love to spend time exploring the mountains of the Cape Peninsula and its coastline.