The Hershey Company joins effort to improve food security and nutrition by building Africa’s capacity to feed itself
Submitted by Partners in Food Solutions
An international public-private partnership is expanding its efforts to strengthen Africa’s food system. The Hershey Company is joining Partners in Food Solutions, a Minnesota nonprofit, as its newest corporate partner.
This move will expand Partners in Food Solutions’ work into two new African countries, and greatly expand the group’s footprint and efforts to improve food security and nutrition in Africa.
Partners in Food Solutions connects volunteer experts from the world’s leading food companies with their counterparts in Africa to help them improve and expand their businesses. These high-potential African companies can then feed more people better, safer, more nutritious and more affordable food, while at the same time providing more stable markets for the crops of smallholder farmers in their region. The volunteer experts connect through a new model of remote consulting pioneered by Partners in Food Solutions.
Volunteers from Hershey will join those from General Mills, Cargill, Royal DSM and Bühler.
“PFS has a great track record across the African continent, and we are most excited about expanding the model to entrepreneurial companies in West Africa,” said John P. Bilbrey, President and Chief Executive Officer at The Hershey Company. “Our work with cocoa communities in the region spans decades. This partnership will allow us to link the technical and business expertise of Hershey employees with a broader range of food-based businesses, and provide nutrition to children in the region.”
Adding Hershey volunteer experts to its ranks is part of Partners in Food Solutions’ aggressive plan for growth over the next five years. The four-year-old nonprofit has already helped more than 600 food companies in five African countries through training or consulting projects. These efforts have helped bring more than 21 metric tons of food to market in areas in urgent need of safe, affordable, nutritious food. They have also helped secure and sustain markets for 829,000 small farmers who sell their crops to these companies to feed their families.
“We have seen real, tangible results from our efforts and are thrilled to have The Hershey Company join our work,” said Partners in Food Solutions CEO Jeff Dykstra. “We know that Africa can produce the food it needs to feed itself, and we know that our model of building the capacity of small businesses in the center of the food value chain can make that happen.”
In March of this year, Partners in Food Solutions helped Ethiopian companies begin producing the first fortified flour ever available to consumers in that country, creating the potential to improve the nutrition of millions of children’s diets. And in July, U.S. President Barack Obama visited with Partners in Food Solutions’ client, Faffa Foods, as he highlighted the successful efforts of a public-private partnership with USAID.
Partners in Food Solutions was founded by General Mills in 2008. Cargill soon joined the effort, along with the Dutch nutrition and pharmaceuticals company Royal DSM and Swiss technology company Bühler. Partners in Food Solutions volunteers currently work with food companies in Ethiopia, Kenya, Malawi, Tanzania and Zambia. The partnership with Hershey will expand their work into West Africa, in Ghana and Cote d’Ivoire.
About Partners in Food Solutions
Partners in Food Solutions (PFS) is a partnership that aggregates, mobilizes and remotely transfers employee expertise from world-class companies – General Mills, Cargill, Royal DSM and Bühler – to small and growing food companies in Africa. Its goals are to improve the ability of those companies to produce more high-quality, nutritious and safe food at affordable prices, and to increase market demand for crops from smallholder farmers. PFS collaborates closely with TechnoServe and the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID).
About The Hershey Company
The Hershey Company, headquartered in Hershey, Pa., is a global confectionery leader known for bringing goodness to the world through its chocolate, sweets, mints and other great-tasting snacks. Hershey has approximately 22,000 employees around the world who work every day to deliver delicious, quality products. The company has more than 80 brands around the world that drive more than $7.4 billion in annual revenues, including such iconic brand names as Hershey's, Reese's, Hershey's Kisses, Jolly Rancher, Ice Breakers and Brookside. Building on its core business, Hershey is expanding its portfolio to include a broader range of delicious snacks. The company remains focused on growing its presence in key international markets while continuing to extend its competitive advantage in North America.
At Hershey, goodness has always been about more than delicious products. For more than 120 years, Hershey has been committed to operating fairly, ethically and sustainably. Hershey founder, Milton Hershey, created the Milton Hershey School in 1909 and since then the company has focused on giving underserved children the skills and support they need to be successful. Today, the company continues this social purpose through 'Nourishing Minds,' a global initiative that provides basic nutrition to help children learn and grow. From neighborhoods across the United States to the streets of Shanghai and Mumbai and villages of West Africa, Hershey employees are sharing their time and expertise to nourish one million minds by 2020.
To learn more - www.thehersheycompany.com
Partners in Food Solutions (PFS) is a 501c(3) nonprofit organization that links the technical and business expertise of volunteer employees from General Mills, Cargill, Royal DSM and Bé¼hler to small and growing food processors and millers in the developing world.
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