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Innovation. Inclusion. Sustainability. Partners in Food Solutions & the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals

In 2016 the United Nations defined the seventeen Sustainable Development Goals (“SDGs”) aimed at mobilizing efforts to end all forms of poverty, fight inequality, and tackle climate change around the world. They are a call for action for all countries- no matter their economic condition- to collaborate over the next fifteen years to build economic growth and address the social and environmental needs that go hand-in-hand with sustainable development.

Partners in Food Solutions (PFS) connects volunteer experts from world-class food processing companies with enterprising food companies across Africa to assist them in producing safe, accessible, nutritious food for local communities. We believe that food is a critical entry point to achieving sustainable development.

THE WORK OF PFS ADDRESSES 9 OF THE 17 SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT GOALS

Goal 1: End poverty in all its forms everywhere

PFS helps build up small and growing food companies across Africa. These local businesses go on to grow their revenue, create local jobs and expand the market for local farmers, fostering economic growth, and lessening Africa’s dependency on expensive imported foods.

THE IMPORTANCE OF SMALLHOLDER FARMERS IN AFRICA

520 million Africans depend on farming for their livelihood. Improving the agricultural sector - local processing in particular - can improve the lives of millions across the continent.

THE FOOD PROCESSING SECTOR HAS THE POTENTIAL TO CREATE MANY LOCAL JOBS, BOTH DIRECTLY AND INDIRECTLY.

Goal 2: End hunger, achieve food security and improved nutrition, and promote sustainable agriculture

Our vision is to improve food security and nutrition to enrich lives around the world. We do this by improving the efficiency of food processors, sharing knowledge on food fortification and championing good manufacturing practices that lead to safer food products.

LOCALLY PRODUCING "READY TO USE THERAPEUTIC FOODS"

Project Peanut Butter uses the crops of local farmers to produce Ready-to-Use Therapeutic Food (RUTF), a highly enriched supplement used to treat severely malnourished children. Learn how PFS has made valuable contributions to broaden their work.

SHARING KNOW-HOW VIRTUALLY

Earl Hensel is one of our General Mills volunteers who shared his expertise with Project Peanut Butter.

Goal 3: Ensure healthy lives and promote well-being for all at all ages

One of the pillars of our mission is to increase production and access to safe, nutritious food for local African populations . By offering the expertise needed for client companies to fortify foods with vitamins and minerals and test their foods for dangerous toxins often present in unprocessed foods, PFS is fighting malnutrition in Sub-Saharan Africa and ensuring food quality for our client companies' millions of customers.

IMPROVING FOOD NUTRITION

Millions of people in sub-Saharan Africa suffer from micronutrient deficiencies due to a lack of diversity in their diets. Unlike many other areas of the world, most staple foods in Sub-Saharan Africa are not fortified with vitamins and minerals. Children are especially vulnerable to the affects of micronutrient deficiency because it hinders their physical and developmental growth, and that damage is irreversible. PFS provides customized technical assistance to local African food companies that are eager to fortify their food products. We also engage government ministries, industry associations, and nonprofit organizations to forge important partnerships between stakeholders. By doing this, PFS supports the increased availability of more nutritious foods across sub-Saharan Africa.

ENSURING FOOD QUALITY AND SAFETY

Many small-scale food processors in Africa lack internal systems for detecting dangerous toxins in their products before and after processing. PFS volunteers assist client companies to establish their own quality laboratories that empower them to better understand and measure the quality of their products. Learn how Hershey Senior Research Scientist Utkarsh Shah helped to ensure the safety of one Ghanaian company's edible oil.

Goal 5: Achieve gender equality and empower all women and girls

27% of PFS client businesses are female-owned, which is on par with countries with the highest rates of female entrepreneurship. As Monica Musonda, CEO & Founder of Java Foods in Zambia, puts it, "The critical question remains, Why are women-owned businesses not able to scale?" This is where our PFS expertise comes in. Our client companies receive the world-class business and technical advice they need to thrive now and in the future.

WHY WOMEN-OWNED BUSINESSES MAKE A DIFFERENCE

Women play a critical role in improving food security in Africa. They are the majority of smallholder farmers and, when economically empowered, are shown to use resources to better nourish and educate their children.

WOMEN'S LEADERSHIP CAN BENEFIT AN ENTIRE COUNTRY

THE MORE THAT WOMEN GET INVOLVED IN CREATING JOBS, DEVELOPMENT AND BUSINESS, THE MORE THE COUNTRY WILL BENEFIT" - MONICA MUSONDA, BUSINESS OWNER

Goal 8: Promote inclusive and sustainable economic growth, employment and decent work for all

By utilizing our corporate volunteers' expertise, PFS clients have reached higher levels of productivity and growth through product diversification, technological upgrading, and adopting innovative business strategies in an industry that provides both rural and urban employment opportunities. By improving their businesses, our clients strengthen supply chain linkages with local farmers, creating a more secure market for farmers. As our client businesses grow, they also create more formal sector employment which often offers safer and more stable workplaces for employees.

WORK OPPORTUNITIES IN THE FORMAL EMPLOYMENT SECTOR BRING MANY BENEFITS

PROMOTING A CULTURE OF SAFETY IN THE WORKPLACE

PFS implements sector-wide occupational health and safety training which effectively educates and empowers participating client companies to reduce instances of preventable job-related deaths, injuries, and illnesses.

IN TANZANIA WE SAY "AJALI NI AJALI," MEANING ACCIDENTS JUST HAPPEN, BECAUSE WE THINK THAT ACCIDENTS ARE INEVITABLE. IT IS A COMPLETELY NEW WAY OF THINKING TO SAY THAT ALL ACCIDENTS CAN BE PREVENTED." -GEORGE KAISHOZI, PROGRAM MANAGER
George visited General Mills as part of a training for staff from TechnoServe - a nonprofit partner of PFS - who will be working with PFS.

Goal 9: Build resilient infrastructure, promote sustainable industrialization and foster innovation

PFS increases the access of small-scale industrial enterprises to affordable credit through our impact-investing partners like Root Capital and Grassroots Business Fund. This increased access to financial services fosters African innovation and affords businesses the opportunity to invest in equipment, develop infrastructure, and offer their customers import substitutions which strengthen their national economies.

STRENGTHENING THE MIDDLE OF A LOCAL FOOD VALUE CHAIN HAS A RIPPLE EFFECT

Food processors touch both ends of the value chain, creating a stable market for local farmers' crops and also making safe, nutritious foods for consumers.

ACCESS TO FINANCING CAN BE THE MOST DIFFICULT PART OF GROWING A BUSINESS

PFS has recognized that lack of access to financing can hold back a promising business from reaching its potential. In 2015, we began partnering with impact investors like Root Capital, Grassroots Business Fund and others to give our African clients the technical and business assistance they need alongside financial services provided our partners.

“Technical assistance plus financing equals magic!” -John Mendesh, PFS Co-Founder

Goal 10: Reduce inequality within and among countries

Our efforts build up the capacity of local food processors who support their local farmers and grow their local economy. Our work ultimately supports the overall food sovereignty of African nations by lessening their dependency on imported foods.

STRENGTHENING LOCAL ENTREPRENEURS IMPROVES CAPACITY ACROSS THE LOCAL FOOD SYSTEM

Meet Pauline Kamau, Managing Director of Sopa Supplies in Kenya. With the help of PFS and our partners, Sopa Supplies developed a five-year strategic plan, which focused on increasing capacity and improving quality.

AFRICA HAS THE POTENTIAL TO EXPAND PROCESSING CAPACITY TO REDUCE ITS NEED FOR FOOD IMPORTS

Goal 12: Ensure sustainable consumption and production patterns

PFS strengthens our clients’ ability to plan for the high and low seasons to keep them operating through even the toughest times so that their communities can benefit from uninterrupted food availability. Our projects also support safe food storage practices, improved product packaging, and extended product shelf life.

SUSTAINABILITY MAKES GOOD BUSINESS SENSE

COMACO - Community Markets for Conservation - buys commodities from 164,000 farmers in Zambia who have committed to farming sustainability and produces quality foods sold throughout Zambia and soon to be exported. They have been a client of PFS since the beginning and have seen significant growth in their business throughout our partnership.

ENABLING SAFE LOCAL FOOD PRODUCTION

General Mills Technology Manager Barmack Rassi talks about how his team worked to solve a food stability issue that one African processor had tried to solve for nearly twenty years.

Goal 17: Revitalize the global partnership for sustainable development

PFS initiates international cooperation between industry volunteers and growing African food processors to increase our clients’ access to the technology, expertise, and innovation needed for their businesses to thrive.

PARTNERSHIPS ARE THE FOUNDATION OF PFS. WE BELIEVE THAT, IN WORKING TOGETHER, WE HAVE THE POWER TO INCREASE FOOD SECURITY, NUTRITION, AND ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT ACROSS AFRICA.

Credits:

Created with images by pochogh - "farmer africa woman" • DFAT photo library - "Africa Food Security 18" • Seth Doyle - "untitled image" • Seth Doyle - "untitled image"

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