This new goal is in addition to PepsiCo’s recently announced support for the Zero Hunger Private Sector Pledge, investing $100m in positive agriculture and food security initiatives, including training farmers and helping strengthen agricultural production with plans to increase crop yields and help ensure a more resilient food supply.
According to the company, the expansion of this community-centric approach to advance long-term food security through collaboration with local partners around the world involves investing in solutions that increase equitable access to nutritious food and increase productivity and incomes of small-scale farmers.
Sub-Saharan Africa investments
The latest investments across sub-Saharan Africa include:
• Pioneer Foods’ Schools Breakfast Nutrition Programme: Pioneer Foods, a wholly-owned subsidiary of PepsiCo in South Africa, provides breakfast for more than 33,000 children in 35 schools in some of the most vulnerable communities across seven provinces in South Africa. The programme, started in 2015, complements the Department of Basic Education’s National School Nutrition Programme, which currently provides lunch to 10 million school children.
• She Feeds the World, a partnership with international humanitarian organisation Care, to ensure gender equality and economic empowerment for women agriculture workers across the globe: The programme is currently active in Uganda, Egypt and Peru, and aims to provide five million female farmers and their families with sustainable agriculture training and economic support to help them increase their crop yields, incomes and access to nutrition locally.
In Uganda, this involves training women leaders on leadership skills and advocacy, as well as enabling nutrition improvement, strengthening women’s access to markets and resources, and expanding benefits across communities – including teaching men about gender equality and challenging harmful gender stereotypes. The programme will also expand into Colombia, Turkey, Thailand and Vietnam in 2022.
• Additional Food for Good programmes: These include a meal delivery initiative spanning sub-Saharan Africa, Latin America, Europe, the Middle East and Asia Pacific. In early 2022, Quaker plans to launch an affordable nutritious product in Nigeria. Pioneer Foods will also continue to grow its portfolio of affordable, nutritious options in sub-Saharan Africa.
“PepsiCo and the PepsiCo Foundation have been working together with partners across Africa for more than a decade to increase access to nutritious food for children and their families, and to solve unique challenges faced by local communities. Now we have accelerated our efforts to help make the food system more sustainable, regenerative and inclusive,” says Tertius Carstens, CEO of PepsiCo sub-Saharan Africa.
Realising a more equitable global food system
The world is facing a dire global hunger crisis, which has only been exacerbated by the pandemic. Currently, more than 800 million people around the world are suffering from hunger and recent estimates show that more than 40% of the world’s population cannot afford a healthy diet. This increased number of people suffering from malnourishment are at a greater risk of Covid-19 infection and death.
The situation is just as dire in Africa; over 100 million people faced catastrophic levels of food insecurity in 2020, and acute food insecurity has increased by 60% in the last year, with predictions that it will continue to worsen.
In South Africa, the National Income Dynamics Study Coronavirus Rapid Mobile Survey (Nids-Cram) found that there was a spike in household hunger following the introduction of lockdown restrictions, and that food security has fluctuated mostly negatively for South African households: nearly 2.5 million adults and 600,000 children were experiencing perpetual hunger – that is, hunger every day or almost every day – in 2021.
This shows the need for global, proactive action to be taken against hunger. “As a leading global food and beverage company, we have a critical role to play in realising a more equitable global food system to ensure the communities we serve are free from hunger and malnutrition. Our collective efforts will enable PepsiCo to deliver on public, global commitments, but it is just one step in a long journey of realising zero hunger and ensuring a sustainable future for all,” says Carstens.
PepsiCo also recently launched Pepsico Positive – a strategic end-to-end transformation, with sustainability at the centre of how the company will create growth and value by operating within planetary boundaries and inspire positive change for the planet and people.