How one woman fought the system

This month is Women’s Month and we are celebrating all women! National Women’s Day is on the 9th and we are celebrating the achievements and spirit of women throughout August. 

At Fry’s, we’re not short of powerful, inspiring women. To name a few, our Managing Director and Head of Finance have both risen to the top of their game in a very male-dominated food sector, our Research and Development Director is at the forefront of innovation in plant-based foods, and our Marketing and Sales Manager is a leading food marketer working on a global stage, and still finds time to drive various charity initiatives in her community.

But this month, we want to specifically share the story of Tammy Fry, our Marketing and Communications Director. Tammy isn’t just a successful businesswoman, she is also a 5th Dan Karateka, a leading plant-based food advocate as well as a vocal animal rights activist, a plant-based nutritionist, a high-level athlete, and an international plant-based spokesperson. She was named as one of the “Eight Women Who are Changing the World for Animals Through Food” from Female First UK and is known for her passionate stance on living kindly in a way that honours both your body and the planet.

But these things didn’t come easy to Tammy. As a born vegetarian in a meat-driven world, she was often ridiculed and undermined, and had to learn at an early age what it meant to stick up for one’s principles – and so began her fight to change the system from within.

She started karate at age four but it was more than just the boys she was fighting against. She was fighting to prove everyone wrong; her peers, her teachers from school, her country’s prejudices. Not only could a girl beat the boys, but you could become a top athlete by eating a plant-based diet. By the age of eighteen, she rose to be the Junior Female World Champion in Karate.

Now, as a mother of two beautiful boys, her fight has taken on even more meaning. She fights for a healthy and happy environment for her children, one where they can openly embrace the world they live in, be free to chase their dreams, and empowered to make a difference. It’s about more than crafting nutritious, high protein plant-based products. It’s about inspiring change.

We spoke to Tammy about what Women’s Day means to her:

Do you have any inspirational women in your life?

“The truth is that all women inspire me. I have met so many incredible women and it never ceases to amaze me how many beautiful qualities women have. My mother played an integral role in my life, as did my sisters, my “grannies”, my amazing friends, people I have met along my life journey.”

What will be the biggest challenge for the generation of women behind you?

“To fight the corporate world and the propaganda, to expose the truth of big industry, to fight hard for what’s right. These sorts of battles can be, and should be driven by women.”

In your opinion, how do the principles of equal women’s and men’s rights align with vegan principles?

“It’s about equality and respect. Men and women should be treated as equals, as should every creature that walks the earth. It’s about living a value-led and principled existence and standing up for what’s right. Human rights and animal rights are both rights!”


The SEED workshop is back and has gone virtual!

Our plant-based seed workshop, Seed by Tammy Fry, is going virtual for the first time with the help of Women’s Health Magazine.


The virtual workshop will take place on Saturday 8 August at 10am and will be live with Tammy and the Women’s Health team. Tammy will unpack everything you need to know about gently and easily moving towards a plant-based lifestyle.


Tammy Fry, one of our Directors at Fry’s, is a leading plant-based food advocate as well as a vocal animal rights activist, plant-based nutritionist, high-level athlete and international plant-based spokesperson. She was named as one of the “Eight Women Who are Changing the World for Animals Through Food” from Female First UK, and is known for her passionate stance on living kindly in a way that honours both your body and the planet.


Tammy’s seed workshop is an annual event that usually sells out within days of tickets being available.  This is the first time the event is being held virtually, which means it is now open to South Africans from all over the country, from Nelson Mandela Bay to Bloemfontein to Nelspruit.


Seed by Tammy Fry is all about making the transition to a plant-based life simple. Tammy gives the low-down on vegan hacks, busts those all-too-common myths and outlines how to meal plan. She will tackle topics like:

  • Principles of health and secrets to longevity
  • The health benefits of plant-based diets
  • Meal planning for busy people and families,
  • Supplements – what you need and don’t need
  • The importance of gut health
  • Wholefoods, the effects of pesticides and more


The event also includes an interactive Q&A session where guests will be able to ask questions live as well as an exclusive sneak peek at some meal ideas from Tammy’s upcoming cookbook. Guests can also expect special recipe videos and a goodie bag filled with gifts that will be delivered to their door after the event. (Unfortunately, the goodie bags will only be available to people residing in South Africa).


This video looks at previous live Seed by Tammy Fry events:


Event details:

 Tickets are limited.


How to participate in Mandela Day during a pandemic

Due to the Covid-19 pandemic, social distancing means we need to do our 67 minutes for Mandela Day a little differently this year. At the start of lockdown, when it was clear what the impact would be on vulnerable South Africans, we committed to feeding as many people in need as possible.  We’ve managed to donate 54 000 meals. The food donated to date has fed thousands of people through various feeding schemes and charity organisations across the country. If you want to help make a contribution this year but have no idea how to go about it during this global pandemic, we have 4 easy ways for you to do your bit:

1. Help feed families in need through donations

To respond to the increased levels of food insecurity as a result of the Covid-19 lockdown, the Nelson Mandela FoundationImbumba Foundation, and Kolisi Foundation have partnered on an initiative called #Each1Feed1. This year, the foundations intend to raise R500,000 to provide 10,000 families with food parcels over a period of three months. You can donate here.

2. Join a virtual quiz to support children and teenagers with cancer

Support the CHOC Childhood Cancer Foundation South Africa by participating in their virtual quiz which will take place at 7 pm on Saturday. An R67 donation fee will guarantee your spot and will help support children and teenagers living with cancer.

3. Join a virtual 67km run or cycle for the NMCF

The Nelson Mandela Children’s Fund (NMCF) is calling on South Africans and individuals around the globe to join them in raising funds for the NMCF by completing a virtual 67km any way you choose, in your own time, virtually. Registration starts at R250 and participants who complete the race will receive a finisher’s medal and be allowed to purchase race merchandise through the platform.

4. Lend a paw for our four-legged friends

You can help the many animal shelters that have had to cancel their traditional fundraising events. Aid 4 Animals in Distress is hosting an online prize draw that allows everyone to give back in the form of some much-needed funding and potentially win some great prizes. Here’s how it works: you can choose from six grids that spell out “Nelson”, each grid has a different price per square and the prize value increases with each grid.

We have always had strong relationships with multiple charity organisations in South Africa. But when lockdown happened it became clear that the need was going to be that much greater and that we needed to do more.

We initially wanted to set a target of providing 67 000 meals in time for Mandela Day, but we know that people will be going hungry far beyond the 18th of July, so we are committed to continuing with the donations and will strive to feed as many as we can during this difficult time.

#MandelaDay2020 has said that “On a scale never seen before, individuals and groups are finding ways to help those in need of support.”

Communities across the world are affected by the spread of Covid-19, which has hit every economy, causing new social and economic challenges and exacerbating old ones. We call on you to be an active citizen in your community, individually or as part of one of the millions of groups getting together to start initiatives around delivering food parcels, making masks and protective gear, teaching online or making donations towards these efforts.

Mandela Day is an annual initiative that takes place on Nelson Mandela’s birthday (18 July). It is known as 67 minutes for Mandela Day and was started by Madiba himself to encourage people around the world into active citizenship.  Individuals, schools, businesses and more are encouraged to devote 67 minutes on 18 July to giving back and helping those in need. The 67-minutes equates to one minute for every year Mandela served South Africa.

Our products are ideal for a wide range of charity organisations because they are versatile, easy to use, 100% vegan friendly (many are halaal and kosher too).