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Kemin's World Food Programme Partnership

Posted August 14, 2019

As experts in food safety, preservation and nutrition, we see the vast need for better food security across the globe. Too many people are suffering the effects of hunger and malnutrition in our world. We believe it is our duty to apply our dedication and expertise and join international efforts to improve the availability and quality of food for those who need it the most.

As our co-founder Mary Nelson said, "We have a responsibility to return to our community and the world a portion of what we earn from our endeavors."

Kemin's commitment to corporate social responsibility has led us to focus our charitable giving and involvement in science and education, affordable housing, disaster relief and the creation of vibrant communities. Among our many partnerships, we are especially proud to work with the World Food Programme (WFP). As a WFP corporate partner, Kemin works to improve safety, access and quality in the worldwide food supply chain.

Getting a Handle on Hunger

Kemin's decision to partner with the World Food Programme is firmly rooted in our desire to help with one of the biggest issues facing our world—food insecurity. The Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) released The State of Food Security and Nutrition in the World report in 2018. The figures it presents show, without a doubt, the dire need for intervention on behalf of the world's hungry.

·     821 million people were chronically undernourished in 2017, up from 795 million in 2014.

·     98 percent of undernourished people are in developing countries.

·     Asia, Sub-Saharan Africa and Latin America account for the greatest portion of undernourished individuals.


One of the biggest drivers of hunger and malnutrition is poverty. Often, people simply don't have the resources to secure adequate amounts of food, and extreme poverty makes it significantly more difficult for communities to grow and become resilient.

·     767 million people live in extreme poverty, surviving on less than $1.90 per day.

·     Half of all people in extreme poverty live in Sub-Saharan Africa.

·     328 million of the extremely poor are children.

Location plays a central role in food insecurity as well. Data from The Hunger Project tells us that living in a rural area and relying on only one or two crops for sustenance is a significant predictor of hunger and undernourishment.

·     75 percent of the world's poorest people live in rural places and get their food through agricultural activity in the area.

·     50 percent of hungry people are from families who farm.

Women and children frequently have the worst outcomes in relation to hunger. WFP places heavy emphasis on aiding and assisting women because they tend to function as distributors for the whole family and ensure children receive their share of food.

·     60 percent of hungry people are women.

·     One in six babies born in developing countries has low birth weight.

·     Almost half of deaths of children under age five are from undernutrition.

A lack of safe, nutritious food is holding the world back. Economically, malnutrition costs the global economy $3.5 trillion each year. From a humanitarian perspective, hunger results in far-reaching yet preventable suffering. In 2004, Kemin chose to partner with the WFP to end hunger and improve self-sufficiency in vulnerable populations.

What Is the World Food Programme?

The World Food Programme is a branch of the United Nations (UN) focusing on food assistance, promoting food security and reducing hunger. The largest organization of its kind, the WFP was formed in 1961 after the FAO Conference of 1960. At the conference, the director of Food for Peace made a compelling argument for the establishment of a multilateral program for food aid as a means of promoting international food security efforts.

As a result, the FAO and the UN General Assembly formally established the WFP in 1963. Initially, the program was administered on a three-year trial basis. Its effectiveness was strong enough to earn an extension in 1965, and the WFP has been on the front lines of food aid ever since. The program's ultimate goal is to eliminate the need for food aid altogether by eradicating malnutrition and hunger. It sets forth four objectives:

1.   Save lives and protect livelihoods in emergencies

2.   Support food security and nutrition and (re)build livelihoods in fragile settings and following emergencies

3.   Reduce risk and enable people, communities and countries to meet their own food and nutrition needs

4.   Reduce undernutrition and break the intergenerational cycle of hunger

These goals are immense, but the WFP and its partners are doing the remarkable work needed to achieve them.


What Does the World Food Programme Do?

Each year, the WFP assists 91.4 million people in 83 countries around the world. Its primary work is to provide food assistance in times of emergency. The WFP doesn't stop at administering aid; it also works with vulnerable communities to build resilience and improve access to nutrition.

The UN has created a blueprint to achieve peace and prosperity for all people by working toward 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). These goals were agreed upon in 2015 with a target achievement date of 2030. The second goal, which the World Food Programme is dedicated to achieving, is "Zero Hunger." This goal has five aspects:

1.   End hunger and ensure all people have access to sufficient, nutritious and safe food all year.

2.   End malnutrition. This includes addressing the needs of older persons, pregnant or lactating women and adolescent girls, as well as determining global targets for wasting and stunting in children under 5.

3.   Double the incomes and agricultural productivity of small-scale food producers by using equal and secure access to resources and opportunities.

4.   Implement sustainable production practices and systems to increase productivity, improve land quality, maintain ecosystems and strengthen the capacity to adapt to extreme weather and climate change.

5.   Maintain genetic diversity among domesticated and farmed animals, cultivated plants and seeds as well as related wild species.

Although achieving Zero Hunger by 2030 is a monumental mission, organizations like the WFP are making progress. The FAO monitors 129 nations, and 72 have managed to halve the number of people suffering from hunger since 2015.


Food Aid and Assistance

The WFP's commitment to Zero Hunger sees them sending 5,000 trucks, 20 ships, and 92 planes to deliver food assistance to those who need it most. These efforts result in the distribution of 15 billion rations each year, with an average cost of only 31 cents per portion. The sheer scale and efficiency of their its operations have cemented the WFP's reputation as one of the world's foremost emergency responders. The organization's efforts center on:

·     Emergency assistance

·     Relief and rehabilitation

·     Development aid

·     Special operations


About two-thirds of the WFP initiatives take place in countries affected by conflict, where undernourishment is three times more common than in nations without conflict.

When catastrophe strikes, the WFP is often the first to arrive on the scene with food assistance. Whether it's a natural disaster or the fallout from war or civil conflict, the WFP is there to help rebuild after the brunt of the emergency passes. They help communities rebuild and improve resilience so they can better cope with the effects of new or ongoing crises.

Development projects are centered on nutrition and focused specifically on mothers and children. The first 1,000 days, from conception to the child's second birthday, is a critical window of time in which good or bad nutrition makes the greatest developmental difference. The WFP's support of nutrition for children continues through its School Meal Programmes, which have been a worldwide staple for more than 50 years. The WFP gets school meals to 18.3 million kids in 65 different countries.

A Worldwide Force for Good

To support its efforts, the WFP focuses on sourcing food from developing countries. Three-quarters of the three million metric tons of food the World Food Programme buys each year come from areas where its programs are run. This helps to develop local markets for increased self-sufficiency and growth.

The WFP is funded completely by donations, which fuel its workforce of more than 15,000 staff around the globe. It works very closely with the FAO and the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD). Recently, the WFP joined forces with the World Bank to create a new framework for working together in countries all over the world.

The WFP also partners with more than 1,000 non-government organizations for financial and operational support for their critical work.


Kemin's Contribution to the World Food Programme

Our partnership with the World Food Programme began in 2004, and we have been steadily ramping up our degree of involvement ever since. In 2017, Kemin entered a brand-new public-private partnership agreement with the WFP to continue our service for at least another five years. The agreement allows us to provide resources and technical expertise to WFP teams and help improve food quality through both cash and in-kind donations.

The WFP's shift in focus to food assistance rather than simple aid has perfectly positioned Kemin to lend our decades of experience in developing areas. The number of local food purchases has increased, and the WFP is providing more products tailored to locality, creating a need for greater formalized oversight in quality.

Kemin provides World Food Programme with strategic guidance to facilitate the development and implementation of a Food Safety Quality Management system. Once in place, this system will allow the WFP to monitor and manage quality assurance all the way through the food supply chain. The Food Safety Quality Management system will also empower local growers and manufacturers to provide the best products for their communities while improving the overall quality of the WFP's food basket.

Kemin food technologists are using research to play a vital role in the development of new products. They are evaluating food procured by the WFP for oxidative, microbial and nutritional qualities. Our food technologists provide recommendations for products through every stage of development, from raw materials' quality to the recipe of the end product and its packaging. One of our biggest goals is to provide guidance that improves the shelf life of end products, eliminating waste and increasing the utility of every bite of food.

In 2018 alone, Kemin's partnership with the WFP assisted 25 million people across the planet — and we're just getting started.

Real-World Experience

Our relationship with the World Food Programme and the people it serves doesn't just happen in the lab or the check-writing process. To understand the true face of hunger and the difference the WFP makes, a Kemin team visited a refugee camp in 2018.

The Zaatari refugee camp is located in Jordan near the Syrian border. Established in 2012 in response to displacement from conflict, the camp is now home to approximately 80,000 people. Zaatari grew from a small collection of tents to an urban settlement with several schools, community centers, a hospital, two food assistance supermarkets and an informal market. Kemin team members observed several of the WFP's initiatives in action during their visit.

·     The Healthy Kitchen Project: This project is the perfect example of how the WFP partner initiatives can increase resiliency and self-sufficiency within communities. It offers economic opportunities for community members by employing them to prepare and deliver meals. The project also improves nutrition by supplying meals to schoolchildren, each including a baked good, fresh vegetable and seasonal fruit.

·     WFP Grocery Store: The camp's two WFP-run grocery stores provide food to refugees using food-restricted vouchers. Thanks to a partnership with the UN High Commissioner for Refugees, the stores use cutting-edge iris scan technology as a payment method for refugees—one of the ways the WFP is using technology to reduce environmental impact.

·     Classroom Visit: The Kemin team visited one of the schools in the camp to distribute meals through the School Meals Programme. Seeing first-hand the difference better nutrition makes was an unforgettable experience.

·     The Jordina Factory: Our team got to see the production of fortified date bars made for schoolchildren. These bars are nutrition-packed and represent exactly the type of product development Kemin is proud to aid.

This hands-on experience only reinforced our commitment to being a resourceful and innovative partner for the WFP. 


One More Step in Corporate Social Responsibility

Our World Food Programme partnership is one more way Kemin is a leader in corporate social responsibility. For Kemin, social responsibility is not just a buzzword—it's one of our core values. Our vision is to touch more than half of the world's population every day with our products and services, and the WFP is helping us achieve this goal.

Kemin is dedicated to building a better future for all through charitable giving, non-profit partnerships and service activities. In addition to partnering with the WFP, we are proud to be involved with Habitat for Humanity®[1], The World Food Prize, Youth Emergency Services & Shelter (YESS) and more. Our mission to make the world a better place for all means we are also redoubling our efforts to integrate sustainability into our way of doing business.

In partnering with the World Food Programme, Kemin intends to help lead the way to universal food security and nutrition access while redefining the scope of corporate social responsibility. A world where no one goes hungry is possible, and Kemin will continue to play a major part in making that vision a global reality.

[1] "Habitat for Humanity®" is a registered service mark owned by Habitat for Humanity International.