NEW YORK, Sept. 21, 2011 /PRNewswire/ -- PepsiCo, Inc. (NYSE: PEP), the PepsiCo Foundation, the United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) and United States Agency for International Development (USAID) announced today a groundbreaking public-private partnership to dramatically increase chickpea production and promote long-term nutritional and economic security in Ethiopia. The initiative, called Enterprise EthioPEA, is being unveiled today by the partners at the Clinton Global Initiative Annual Meeting in New York City.
Enterprise EthioPEA supports the Ethiopian government's agriculture sector development plans, and aims to dramatically increase chickpea production to address three distinct needs. Specifically, the project intends to:
- Enable nearly 10,000 Ethiopian farmers to realize a two-fold increase in chickpea yield by applying more modern agricultural practices and irrigation techniques. This initiative will leverage PepsiCo's and USAID's deep agricultural expertise to create new domestic and export markets for Ethiopian chickpeas, and improve the overall quality of the soil farmed.
- Develop a locally sourced, nutrient-rich, ready-to-use supplementary food (RUSF) to address malnutrition. With an initial target to reach nearly 40,000 Ethiopian children, ages 6-23 months, WFP will leverage its mass distribution capabilities to assist those most in need of nutritional support through its existing operational network. Longer-term, all partners aim to expand the program to prevent malnutrition across the Horn of Africa.
- Scale-up and strengthen the Ethiopian chickpea supply chain, to harness the potential of a domestic and export market and increase the availability of locally-produced nutritious products for consumers. For PepsiCo, chickpea-based products are an important part of the company's strategy to build a $30 billion global nutrition business by 2020.
With an average of 22 percent protein, chickpeas are a more sustainable alternative to meat and have the potential to reduce risk of coronary artery disease and diabetes. While Ethiopia is Africa's largest producer of chickpeas, there remains high potential to increase yields and improve quality.
PepsiCo's investment in Enterprise EthioPEA is part of a global strategy to make the company a leader in sustainable agriculture around the world, and the latest example of the company's proven and transferable market-based model, which advances healthy nutrition and environmental sustainability while supporting local economic growth and PepsiCo's short- and long-term financial performance. Additionally, PepsiCo Foundation is supporting Enterprise EthioPEA by working with WFP and funding the initiative's RUSF program.
"PepsiCo's partnership with the World Food Programme and USAID is well designed to address the needs of many of our most important stakeholders, including customers and communities," said Indra Nooyi, Chairman and CEO of PepsiCo. "We are pleased to be combining powerful local networks, proven experience in development assistance and strong industry expertise to help create new domestic and export food markets. This initiative will positively impact the livelihood of local farmers, address the critical issue of famine in the Horn of Africa and create sustainable business opportunities for PepsiCo."
"With the ingenuity, power and reach of the private sector, we can make great strides in ending the malnutrition and hunger that is threatening the lives of millions," said Josette Sheeran, Executive Director of WFP. "The world knows how to prevent malnutrition. The hunger we are witnessing today in the Horn of Africa is preventable with local solutions that support small farmers in being part of the solution. Enterprise EthioPEA will change the lives of tens of thousands of children and will chart the course for future partnerships to help stamp out hunger around the globe."
"This unique partnership illustrates how we can develop market-based solutions and leverage resources to make a sustainable impact in reducing hunger and poverty, which is particularly critical in light of the crisis in the Horn of Africa," said Dr. Rajiv Shah, USAID Administrator. "In addressing both immediate hunger needs and supporting opportunities for smallholder farmers to boost their earning potential through increased productivity, it will advance the objectives of Feed the Future, the U.S. global hunger and food security initiative."
PepsiCo offers the world's largest portfolio of billion-dollar food and beverage brands, including 19 different product lines that generate more than $1 billion in annual retail sales each. Our main businesses -- Quaker, Tropicana, Gatorade, Frito-Lay, and Pepsi Cola -- also make hundreds of other enjoyable and wholesome foods and beverages that are respected household names throughout the world. With net revenues of approximately $60 billion, PepsiCo's people are united by our unique commitment to sustainable growth by investing in a healthier future for people and our planet, which we believe also means a more successful future for PepsiCo. We call this commitment Performance with Purpose: PepsiCo's promise to provide a wide range of foods and beverages for local tastes; to find innovative ways to minimize our impact on the environment, including by conserving energy and water usage, and reducing packaging volume; to provide a great workplace for our associates; and to respect, support, and invest in the local communities where we operate. PepsiCo is ranked as the number one company in the Dow Jones Sustainability Indexes (DJSI) Food and Beverage Supersector, and has led the beverage sector for three consecutive years. For more information, please visit www.pepsico.com.
About the PepsiCo Foundation
Established in 1962, the PepsiCo Foundation is the philanthropic anchor of PepsiCo, responsible for providing charitable contributions to eligible non-profit organizations. The Foundation is committed to developing sustainable partnerships and programs in underserved regions that provide opportunities for improved health, environment and education. For more information, please visit http://www.pepsico.com/Purpose/PepsiCo-Foundation.aspx.
About World Food Programme
WFP is the world's largest humanitarian agency fighting malnutrition and hunger worldwide. Each year, on average WFP feeds more than 90 million people in more than 70 countries. WFP has prioritized reaching children in the first 1000 days, when their brains and bodies are subject to permanent stunting due to a lack of micronutrients. WFP procures 80 percent of food and nutrition supplies it purchases from the developing world. WFP now provides RSS feeds to help journalists keep up with the latest press releases, videos and photos as they are published on WFP.org. For more details see http://www.wfp.org/rss.
About United States Agency for International Development
The American people, through USAID, have provided economic and humanitarian assistance worldwide for nearly 50 years. USAID is leading implementation of Feed the Future, the U.S. global hunger and food security initiative. For more information about USAID's programs, please visit: www.usaid.gov/. For more information about Feed the Future, please see www.feedthefuture.gov.
About the Clinton Global Initiative (CGI)
CGI was established in 2005 by President Bill Clinton and convenes global leaders to devise and implement innovative solutions to some of the world's most pressing challenges. Since 2005, CGI Annual Meetings have brought together nearly 150 current and former heads of state, 18 Nobel Prize laureates, hundreds of leading CEOs, heads of foundations, major philanthropists, directors of the most effective nongovernmental organizations, and prominent members of the media. These CGI members have made nearly 2,000 commitments, which have already improved the lives of 300 million people in more than 180 countries. When fully funded and implemented, these commitments will be valued in excess of $63 billion. The 2011 Annual Meeting will take place Sept. 20-22 in New York City.
This year, CGI also convened CGI America, a meeting focused on developing ideas for driving economic growth in the United States. The CGI community also includes CGI U, which hosts an annual meeting for undergraduate and graduate students, and CGI Lead, which engages a select group of young CGI members for leadership development and collective commitment-making. For more information, visit www.clintonglobalinitiative.org.