Bühler joins “Partners in Food Solutions”
May 22, 2013
by World Grain Staff
UZWIL, SWITZERLAND — Bühler announced on May 22 that it has joined “Partners in Food Solutions” (PFS) as its fourth partner.
PFS is a nonprofit organization founded by General Mills, which also includes the other leaders in the global food industry, Cargill and Royal DSM of the Netherlands. They collaborate with the development organizations USAID and TechnoServe. The aim is to make the technical and business expertise as well as other resources of the companies involved accessible to small and growing food processors and millers in African developing countries through voluntary employee missions.
With its commitment, PFS is striving to improve food security and general nutritional conditions in the target countries. At present, these include Kenya, Zambia, Tanzania, Malawi, and Ethiopia. Rather than simply sending technical staff to Africa, PFS is relying on a sustainable knowledge transfer system on the basis of personal employee missions of the companies involved.
On the one hand, PSF is working closely with TechnoServe, which offers in-depth country knowledge that helps make for successful on-the-ground program implementation. The second experienced cooperation partner, USAID, helps shape and guide PSF by sharing strengths, experiences, methodologies, and resources through a public private partnership formed in 2010.
“This alliance to which Bühler has now been added strengthens and expands our base of knowledge, deepens our expertise, and ultimately moves us much closer to our goal of helping more than 500 Africa-based food processors,” said Jeff Dykstra, chief executive officer of PFS. “PFS’s unique consortium of world-class industry players connecting their employee expertise with small and growing food companies has the power to improve the whole food sector in Africa and beyond.”
Ian Roberts, chief technology officer of Bühler, said, “The PFS business model fits perfectly with our culture of commitment to improve the food chain. The over 150-year history of Bühler as a leading supplier of capital equipment to the food industry can now be made available by PFS to the small and growing food companies throughout Africa. We think this is a perfect opportunity for us to use our core competencies for improving food security in Africa.”
PFS’s track record is second to none. To date, the organization has worked with some 300 companies in the target countries mentioned. Its projects have involved more than 131,000 local smallholder farmers who in turn support an estimated 786,000 family members. The three existing corporate partners – General Mills, Cargill, and Royal DSM of the Netherlands – have provided nearly 500 skilled employees, who have volunteered more than 40,000 hours on more than 150 individual projects. Bühler’s contribution of experts will substantially enrich this bench of talent.
Over the next five years, the alliance plans to broaden its work to include as many as 10 corporate partners and 500 food processors, who purchase from more than 500,000 local smallholder farmers in 12 African nations. Ultimately, this will benefit millions of consumers.