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Dec 10, 2018 • By

A decade of impact in Africa

This is a true story about 1,500 African food companies in nine African countries, and 1,500 volunteers from six food companies that worked together to improve food security across Africa.

The story goes like this.

A decade ago, General Mills’ CEO at the time – Ken Powell – was challenged by the Secretary-General of the United Nations (Kofi Annan) to find a way to help improve the quality, safety and availability of food in Africa.

Lucky for us, Powell and his team had the passion, desire, knowledge, and the team to make it happen.

From there, Partners in Food Solutions (PFS) was born.

PFS-logo-and-tagline

The success of PFS is rooted in the simple concept of connecting high-potential processors and millers across Africa with talented employees from some of the largest companies in the food industry, like General Mills.

Employees volunteer their time, sharing their expertise with the African food companies to improve their businesses and the food they make.

Learn about the history of PFS and a success story, in this video.

The growth and subsequent impact of PFS has been rooted in relationships that led to an entire network of individuals, companies, governments, nonprofits and donors that now spans the globe.

Today, PFS is an independent nonprofit organization.

Its work is a consortium of six corporate partners with a shared goal of strengthening local food value chains for a sustainable African food industry.

PFS-partner-logos

Collectively, these companies have nearly 700 years of food know-how and tens of thousands of employees whose expertise and wisdom can help advance the African food landscape.

PFS also works with other notable organizations like TechnoServe, with funding from by USAID and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, and impact investors such as Root Capital and Grassroots Business Fund to support African food processors and mills.

PFS-Malawi-Valid-Nutrition-line

The impact over a decade has been immense.

  • Nearly 1,500 early-stage food companies received support and training to help improve food safety and quality and improve their businesses.
  • 9 countries served: Côte d’Ivoire, Ethiopia, Ghana, Kenya, Malawi, Nigeria, Tanzania, Uganda and Zambia.
  • 94,000 hours contributed by nearly 1,500 volunteers from six companies.

“We could not be more proud of the impact Partners in Food Solutions has made in Africa. The advances in food safety and nutrition, made possible by the generosity of hundreds of volunteers, are truly inspiring,” says Mary Jane Melendez, executive director of the General Mills Foundation, and PFS board member. “PFS gives our employee volunteers a powerful way to use their food expertise while making a dramatic difference in developing African countries.”

PFS-child-eating

African child eats Ready to Eat Therapeutic Food (RUTF), which helps children suffering malnourishment. RUTF is manufactured by VALID Nutrition, a Partners in Food Solutions client.

“The partnership represents what the food industry can do in a very tangible way to make a positive impact in food security, nutrition and development, even from 8,000 miles away,” says Jeff Dykstra, co-founder and CEO of PFS. “It’s a testament to our six corporate partners and their commitment to open up their collective 700 years of know-how and be willing to share that in a meaningful way.”

So you see, this story is far from over. It’s only just begun. Learn how you can be a part of this important work on PartnersInFoodSolutions.com.

For more information, read this article in The Wall Street Journal, and the latest PFS annual report.

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