As reported in July 2014, in partnership with Phillips Pharmaceuticals Tanzania Ltd. (PPTL), and Helen Keller International (HKI), GAIN opened a vitamin and premix Hub in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania (complementing the one opened earlier in Kenya). This Hub was designed to help local food producers participating in the national food fortification program to easily access affordable and quality premix.
GAIN did not raise funds for this project. Rather, over the 1.5 years of the project, GAIN prefinanced the Hub by shipping about $2.4 million in premix from the central GAIN Premix Facility (GPF) in Geneva to the facility in Tanzania, which was hosted by a private sector partner. The partner warehoused and distributed the premix, and GAIN recouped its investment as the premix was sold. The Hub began operating in early 2013, serving the needs of wheat flour millers and oil refiners. In total, 267,875 kg of wheat flour premix and 6,395 kg of vitamin A for oil fortification were provided by GAIN.
The Hubs were designed to ensure that food producers embarking into fortification for the first time had access to affordable, quality premix locally while building experience in sourcing quality premix. Over the life-span of the HUB, food producers were also exposed to several alternative sources of premix and, in parallel, internationally recognized and approved suppliers of the GPF in Geneva have had access to this new market for fortification by supplying the Hub.
By late 2014, the Hubs in Kenya and Tanzania had served their purpose and were closed as financial support from international organizations ended and competitive market forces were expected to take over for the supply of quality premix. Since October 2014, food producers have been free to purchase from the source of their choice and, although the East Africa Hubs are closed, the GAIN Premix Facility can supply interested millers directly.
GAIN remains firmly in the premix arena. During the past year, the GPF reached an estimated 158 million consumers in developing countries, exceeding its annual goal. In five and a half years of operation, the GPF has become well established, servicing the premix procurement needs of partners involved in food fortification globally. Indeed, during the past year, GAIN provided technical assistance to industry and regulatory agencies on improving fortification quality, as well as devices for measuring compliance to standards. The GPF has also started doing factory audits of emergency-related food producers (e.g., those making lipid-based nutrient supplements) to help them achieve certification by the international agencies that procure the bulk of these products.