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Five private companies helping to reduce hunger

Pepsico, Kraft, Cargill, Land O' Lakes, and TNT Express are among many companies that have created nonprofit divisions to help alleviate hunger in developing countries.

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2. Land O’ Lakes Inc.: The company is best known for its butter and other dairy products, but Land O’ Lakes Inc. is also the United Statessecond-largest cooperative, having been member-owned and directed since 1921. The company’s nonprofit division, Land O’Lakes International Development, uses the company’s “practical experience and in-depth knowledge to facilitate market-driven business solutions that generate economic growth, improve health and nutrition, and alleviate poverty.”

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Land O’ Lakes Inc. in action: Land O’ Lakes partners with Tillers International in the Mozambique Food for Progress Program. The purpose of the program, according to its website, is to “begin rebuilding Mozambique’s dairy industry to meet market demand and to increase incomes for smallholder farmers through participation in a sustainable dairy value chain.” The organization also trains farmers to teach other farmers about proper animal care, weeding systems, cart making, road building, and other important skills. As a result, farmers are learning how to raise and utilize livestock to improve their incomes, diets, and crop productivity.

3. PepsiCo: PepsiCo produces more than just soda. In fact, it manufactures hundreds of brands of food and beverages around the world, including Frito-Lay, Quaker, and Tropicana products.  It also partners with the UN World Food Programme (WFP) and United States Agency for International Development (USAID) to “dramatically increase chickpea production and promote long-term nutritional and economic security in Ethiopia,” among other programs.

PepsiCo in action: PepsiCo’s chickpea initiative, Enterprise EthioPEA, is part of PepsiCo’s strategy to become a global leader in sustainable agriculture. The program plans to improve the quality of Ethiopia’s chickpeas and increase yields by introducing more modern agricultural practices and irrigation techniques, such as use of better-quality seeds and drip irrigation, and considering important factors such as seasonality and the need to optimize soil quality. It also aims to address malnutrition by developing a “locally sourced, nutrient-rich, ready-to-use supplementary food" and wants to “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.”

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