General Mills was highlighted at the 2012 Clinton Global Initiative (CGI) annual meeting this morning in New York City.
During a session on the future of food, President Clinton recognized General Mills for its pioneering work helping to improve food security across Africa. He said, “By increasing the productivity of small holder farmers … General Mills is giving us a path forward to the future. This is a potentially profoundly important commitment.”
In 2009, General Mills, in partnership with the Office of United States Global AIDS Coordinator (OGAC) and United States Agency for International Development (USAID), made a CGI commitment to link the technical and business expertise of General Mills employees with small and growing food processors in sub-Saharan Africa, with the goal of improving those companies’ ability to produce locally sourced, nutritious, and safe food at affordable prices for both food aid and local retail markets.
Another major element of General Mills’ 2009 CGI commitment was to work with USAID to engage other Fortune 500 food companies to join and amplify the effort.
Through PFS, General Mills is able to reach out to additional partners from across the food industry to amass expertise and make a transformative difference. Cargill and Royal DSM joined Partners in Food Solutions in 2011 and today, the nonprofit is working with 35 food processors in Kenya, Zambia, Tanzania and Malawi, impacting more than 100,000 smallholder farmers who support nearly 620,000 family members.
TechnoServe has also joined PFS’ efforts providing in-depth country knowledge that helps make for successful on-the-ground program implementation.
Over the next five years, PFS aims to expand to include as many as 10 corporate partners working with 200 Africa-based food processors who purchase from more than 500,000 smallholder farmers in as many as 14 African nations.
“The Clinton Global Initiative is a great venue for organizations to meet, share ideas and think creatively about some of the world’s most pressing challenges,” said Kim Nelson, senior vice president of external relations for General Mills and General Mills Foundation president. “With the inspiring ideas being shared throughout this year’s annual meeting, it is an honor for General Mills to be recognized for our innovative approach to fighting hunger in Africa. As we’ve learned, a lot can be accomplished when you harness your employees’ energy and desire to use their unique expertise to do something transformative.”
Join My Village is an innovative online community that is fighting poverty in Malawi and India through the empowerment of women and girls.
Editor’s note: The photo above is from a screenshot of this morning’s live feed from the 2012 CGI annual meeting. Kim Nelson is on the far right. Other photos from today’s CGI are available.