This has much of the makings of a really good initiative. It is a non profit organisation established by General Mills from it’s Corporate Social Responsibility programme.
click image to visit site
It links the technical and business expertise of volunteer employees at General Mills, Cargill and DSM to small and medium-sized mills and food processors in the developing world to
improve the ability of those companies to produce high-quality, nutritious and safe food at affordable prices
to increase demand for the crops of small-holder farmers who supply those businesses
to build a vibrant, sustainable food supply chain
After local processors have identified companies and their needs, volunteers are deployed to assist selected African food processing companies in
Determining the best nutritional mix based on local ingredients.
Developing new products that are locally sourced.
Designing facilities and food processing systems.
Creating high-performance packaging for storage and sales.
Improving quality and food processing procedures.
Enhancing food safety throughout the entire value chain.
Developing expertise in areas such as market assessment, strategy and finance.
Improving marketing, distribution and other aspects of getting products to end-consumers.
The concept of the rich multinational giving time and experience to poorer African food processors offers real potential for economic growth and poverty elimination. I intend to follow up a bit on this with further posts, but would very much like to hear of your experience with Partners in Food Solutions.
from: AFRIGADGET (click image for full story online)
Of particular interest is the fact that the traditional hive, with some of its disadvantages is widely used because of the high cost (US$ 100) of commercial hives. Also that honey separation is done by a co-operative because of the cost of a separator.
The group of 40 beekeepers produced 8 000 kg of raw honey which had a value of US$ 8 000 or US$ 200/person/year. The co-operative was able to sell separated honey for US$ 8/kg indicating the possibility of value addition.
The potential of honey may be large given the difficulties in Europe and USA where swarms are being wiped out by colony collapse disorder and the possibility of moving toward own processing, organic, ethical and FAIRTRADE honey with much larger incomes.
Another in the series which simply links to the websites of Food Processing Companies in Africa. It is hoped that the industry can benefit from a knowledge of who’s doing what – either through the establishment of new businesses or through trading.
Coast Coconut producers a “virgin” coconut oil by using small scale processing at the farmer rather than the traditional method of producing copra which is exported to a regional factor for oil extraction.
While this seems not to yet be a sustainable enterprise, it will be interesting to watch its development. The small scale technology is attractive because some 90% of the world’s coconuts are grown by small farmers.