Hershey Announces Clinton Global Initiative Commitment to Support Child Nutrition in Ghana

(3BL Media/Justmeans) – Malnutrition is the single largest cause of child death in the world today. This critical, global problem impacts millions of vulnerable children each year, and kills more than twice as many children as HIV/AIDS and malaria combined. Yet, it may be possible to eradicate severe malnutrition among children with a cost effective solution of using peanut butter as a therapeutic nutritional supplement.

The Hershey Company announced a new Clinton Global Initiative (CGI) Commitment to Action to train 7,500 farmers in Ghana on improved agronomic practices to tackle this challenge. Hershey is empowering these farmers to supply local commercial markets with safe and high quality peanuts to produce Vivi, a vitamin and mineral-fortified nutritional supplement distributed to school children in Ghana.

Hershey has committed to 100 percent local sourcing of peanuts for its production of Vivi by 2018. Hershey produces and distributes these much-needed nutritional supplements at no cost to the children through a partnership with the Ghana School Feeding Program and nonprofit Project Peanut Butter (PPB). PPB seeks to advance the treatment of severe malnutrition using effective, locally produced ready-to-use therapeutic foods.

Apart from capacity building and training for local peanut farmers, Hershey will provide financial and in-kind resources to rehabilitate a local peanut roasting facility and implement training on efficient roasting methods. The company will establish a premium price for purchasing the peanuts as an ingredient for the Vivi nutritional supplement.

The commitment to achieve 100 percent local peanut sourcing for Vivi is part of Hershey’s global social purpose to provide children with the basic nutrition they need to learn and grow. It builds on the company’s existing Energize Learning program, which will help feed 50,000 Ghanaian children by 2016 by distributing Vivi during the school day.

Mike Wege, Chief Administrative Officer at Hershey, said that Ghana has a long history of producing peanuts. Yet, rural farmers lack access to commercial buyers due to quality and food safety issues, and as a result, continue to struggle with low incomes. Hershey will share its international expertise in peanut production, roasting and processing with an aim to increase the quality and safety of Ghana’s peanut supply, improve the livelihoods of its farmers, and promote a sustainable supply chain for basic nutrition.

Source: Sector Publishing Intelligence