Kemin Industries and the United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) have announced a new 5-year public-private partnership to improve the safety and quality of WFP’s food basket. Kemin President and CEO Dr. Chris Nelson and WFP Director of Communications, Public Policy and Private Partnerships Nancy Roman finalized the agreement this week during the World Economic Forum Annual Meeting 2012 in Davos, Switzerland.
WFP, the world’s largest humanitarian agency fighting hunger around the world, unveiled a landmark strategic plan in 2008 that aimed to transform the organization from a food aid to a food assistance agency while allowing WFP to feed more than 90 million people a year. This move has included a shift toward increasing local food purchases; providing more locally-tailored products, and investing in longer term solutions to food production to combat hunger and poverty. To accomplish this strategy, WFP is helping to build the production and marketing capacity of local growers and manufacturers, including an increased ability to meet WFP food quality standards.
"Kemin's generous gift of technology and understanding of key nutrition issues is helping us feed people smarter," said WFP Executive Director Josette Sheeran.
WFP is tapping into Kemin Industries’ 50 years of experience in manufacturing nutritional ingredients, produced according to the highest standards of quality and safety, to assist in developing and implementing a Food Safety Quality Management System (FSQMS) within the organization. This is a critical initiative that will enable WFP to manage and improve food quality assurance throughout the entire supply chain, enable the success of local growers and manufacturers, and ultimately improve WFP’s final food basket.
Kemin will work closely with WFP trainers to develop education programs for WFP staff and implementing partners, including inspection companies and suppliers. These programs will raise awareness of food quality and safety issues and will equip WFP logistics and procurement teams with the knowledge and skills to evaluate the quality and safety of food products, suppliers, producers and processors.
“We are pleased to continue and strengthen our partnership with WFP in the area of food safety and quality,” said Nelson. “I commend WFP for their commitment to quality assurance and look forward to supporting this effort as they strive to deliver better food to the millions of people facing chronic hunger and malnutrition worldwide.”
Kemin began working with WFP in 2008, gathering and sharing data on the shelf life stability of products in WFP’s food basket. Kemin will continue to analyze the microbial and oxidative stability of food procured by WFP and recommend any changes necessary to raw materials, manufacturing and handling in order to improve nutritional quality. Kemin will also support the organization’s product improvement and new product development process, sharing technical expertise on what product requirements and specifications will most effectively provide fortified, nutritious food to the hungry poor.