The Hershey Company has announced it is joining Partners in Food Solutions (PFS), an international public-private partnership that 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 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, PFS claims. The volunteer experts connect through a new model of remote consulting launched by PFS.
This move will expand the non-profit's work into two new African countries, and greatly expand the group’s footprint and efforts to improve food security and nutrition in Africa, PFS says.
Volunteers from Hershey will join those from General Mills, Cargill, Royal DSM and Bühler.
PFS 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. 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.
PFS has helped more than 600 food companies in five African countries through training or consulting projects, PFS says. 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.
In March of this year, PFS 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 PFS client, Faffa Foods, as he highlighted the successful efforts of a public-private partnership with USAID.
In June, Hershey announced a partnership that will support its campaign to fight malnutrition in Ghana. As part of its Energize Learning program, the company joined with the Ghana School Feeding Programme and Project Peanut Butter to distribute a peanut-based protein supplement called Vivi to schoolchildren. The program aims to reach 50,000 children by 2016, and eventually expand to serve all children in Ghana’s school feeding program.