Pepsi and Chickpeas: An Interview with Derek Yach

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Pepsi and Chickpeas: An Interview with Derek Yach

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Summary

USAID interviews Derek Yach, senior vice president of global health and agriculture policy at PepsiCo, on the organization’s partnership with USAID and United Nations World Food Program. The interview also cites PepsiCo’s role in the importance of chickpea agriculture in Ethiopia and how this is tackling famine across Africa.

Wednesday, November 23, 2011 - 9:00am

CAMPAIGN: PepsiCo Human Sustainability (Archived Campaign)

CONTENT: Blog

Derek Yach is senior vice president of global health and agriculture policy at PepsiCo, where he leads the internal Global Human Sustainability Task Force and engagement with major international policy, research, and scientific groups. He is also a member of the International Food and Policy Research Institute’s Strategic Advisory Board. Yach previously headed the global health program at The Rockefeller Foundation, was professor of public health and head of the Division of Global Health at Yale University, and acted as executive director of the World Health Organization.

On Sept. 21, PepsiCo Inc. announced a unique, trilateral partnership with USAID and the United Nations World Food Program during the Clinton Global Initiative’s 2011 annual meeting in New York. A key achievement of the U.S. Government’s Feed the Future initiative, this partnership will help build long-term economic stability for smallholder chickpea farmers in Ethiopia by involving them directly in PepsiCo’s product supply chain. And that’s just the beginning.
 
Question: Most people don’t think of chickpeas or Ethiopia when they think of PepsiCo. How did PepsiCo get involved in this project?
 
Derek Yach:  At PepsiCo we are constantly seeking ways to create new markets, invest in emerging economies, advance healthy nutrition, ensure environmental sustainability, and drive the long-term growth and profitability of our company. PepsiCo’s work in Ethiopia was triggered by a discussion between PepsiCo, the World Food Program (WFP), and USAID which led to the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding on Jan. 28 at the World Economic Forum at Davos. The idea behind Enterprise EthioPEA was initiated at the request of Ethiopian Prime Minister Meles Zenawi, who wanted to use local crops to solve nutritional problems and build his country’s export market. Knowing the nutritional benefits of chickpeas and considering our long term business, we worked closely with the prime minister, as well as other partners like the Ethiopian Institute for Agricultural Research, to make the vision a reality.
 
Given their health benefits, chickpeas are an important, innovative ingredient for new ready-to-use supplementary foods (RUSF)—often called food aid. At a time where 13 million people are suffering from famine and malnutrition in the Horn of Africa, there is both an acute and a long-term need to address famine and chronic malnutrition in the region. With our chickpea project, not only will we be helping to alleviate famine and malnutrition, but we will also ensure that local farmers will get more work and guaranteed income while enabling our long-term growth, innovation, and relevance among customers.
Consumers worldwide are demanding that healthier food options be made more available and affordable. PepsiCo is looking at every point of the supply chain to meet our consumers’ demands, with the aim of developing sustainable agriculture that benefits communities, farmers, consumers and business. Enterprise EthioPEA will work with smallholder chickpea farmers to increase the productivity and value of their crop and grow the domestic market and export markets for chickpeas. With the expected growth of our business in chickpea-based products such as hummus, we expect to source at least 10 percent of our supply from Ethiopia, which amounts to at least 2,000 tons of chickpea per year.
 
To continue reading the USAID interview with Derek Yach of PepsiCo, click here.
  
About PepsiCo 
PepsiCo offers the world's largest portfolio of billion-dollar food and beverage brands, including 19 different product lines that generate more than $1 billion in annual retail sales each. Our main businesses -- Quaker, Tropicana, Gatorade, Frito-Lay, and Pepsi Cola -- also make hundreds of other enjoyable foods and beverages that are respected household names throughout the world. With net revenues of approximately $60 billion, PepsiCo's people are united by our unique commitment to sustainable growth by investing in a healthier future for people and our planet, which we believe also means a more successful future for PepsiCo. We call this commitment Performance with Purpose: PepsiCo's promise to provide a wide range of foods and beverages for local tastes; to find innovative ways to minimize our impact on the environment, including by conserving energy and water usage, and reducing packaging volume; to provide a great workplace for our associates; and to respect, support, and invest in the local communities where we operate. For more information, please visit 
www.pepsico.com.
 

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PepsiCo
http://www.pepsico.com/
Keywords: Responsible Production & Consumption | Business | Ethiopia | Famine | Pepsico | Sustainability | USAID | United nations world food programme | chickpea

CAMPAIGN: PepsiCo Human Sustainability (Archived Campaign)

CONTENT: Blog

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