Already piloting in Tanzania, General Mills will engage with local suppliers of fortified blended flours (FBFs) to increase quality standards, improve efficiency and work to develop cheaper and more effective nutritional supplements to those taking ARVs.
OGAC, USAID and General Mills will collaborate to provide technical assistance to small and medium-sized mills and food processors in Sub-Saharan Africa, with the goal of improving the enterprises' ability to produce high-quality, nutritious and safe food at affordable prices. Along with other food companies, the partners will work with 10-15 SMEs per country, with a goal of 200 SMEs in total. Specifically, the work of the commitment will:
- Link core competencies of General Mills with the specific business needs of the SMEs, from food formulation and process development, to business planning and go-to-market operations. With PEPFAR and USAID programs in-country, the partnership will identify options for SMEs to finance the improvement and expansion of their operations, including the potential use of partial loan guarantees.
- Build capacity of SMEs to produce finished food products needed by vulnerable populations, including people living with HIV/AIDS. Partners will work to ensure SMEs increase local production of a range of food products serving various market needs, including fortified blended flours. Partners will also develop the capacity of SMEs to produce specialized foods for treatment of clinical malnutrition as needed by local PEPFAR or other donor programs, and ensure commercial food products meet international quality and safety standards.
- Work with local SMEs to research new formulas of RUFs based on locally available ingredients. Where possible, partners will identify and link in lower-cost, locally available ingredients to reduce reliance on expensive imported ingredients. Partners will also explore alternative RUFs to diversify available products and reduce costs through increased competition.
Systemic and chronic food insecurity has long plagued many parts of the world most severely affected by HIV/AIDS, and there is a complex relationship between the two conditions. PEPFAR integrates specific and targeted nutrition interventions with HIV/AIDS treatment and care programs in an effort to improve clinical outcomes for people living with HIV/AIDS (PLWHA). PEPFAR food and nutritional support is directed to orphans and vulnerable children born to an HIV-infected parent, HIV-positive pregnant and lactating women, and therapeutic and supplementary feeding to patients in ART and care programs who have evidence of clinical malnutrition, as defined by the World Health Organization (Body Mass Index less than 18.5).
A key component of USAID's rural development strategy is to link small farmers to markets to increase family income and food security. USAID promotes food security by stimulating rural economies through broad-based agricultural growth, which increases incomes along with food production, reduces poverty, and brings down food prices in local markets for the urban poor. USAID's approach takes several forms, including providing immediate and expanded humanitarian responses to crises, investing in staple food production and value transformation through increased food processing capabilities for local residents, promoting trade liberalization to reduce price volatility, supporting an enabling environment for agribusiness investment and market expansion, and increasing availability and use of advanced agricultural technologies. It is especially in this last intervention that USAID seeks to engage private food companies in advancing the food security of vulnerable populations.
Partners in Food Solutions (PFS) is about connecting expertise with opportunity through the transfer of knowledge and resources between skilled volunteers from world-class food companies and small and growing food processors and millers in Africa to improve the food value chain by creating more healthy, safe, affordable food that's locally sourced and sold. PFS seeks like-minded, globally-positioned corporate partners who will provide a combination of financial resources, employee expertise through volunteering, and access to technical resources and facilities. PFS' on-the-ground implementation partners leverage the contribution of public and private partners through decades of experience working in Africa, an unwavering commitment to best practices within a shared learning environment.
Partners in Food Solutions (PFS) is seeking public-private partnerships to support its mission to develop and sustain technical philanthropy.