The Hershey Co. has launched a new Clinton Global Initiative (CGI) Commitment to Action. The goal of the initiative is to help supply Vivi to school children in Ghana. Vivi is a vitamin and mineral-fortified nutritional supplement which is produced from high-quality peanuts.
Hershey intends to train 7,500 farmers in Ghana on improved agronomic practices, empowering them to supply local commercial markets with safe and high-quality peanuts to produce Vivi so that it can be distributed to school children. Hershey commits to 100% local sourcing of peanuts for its production of Vivi by 2018.
Providing children with the basic nutrition they need to learn, grow and be successful in school remains a challenge across West Africa. Hershey produces and distributes these much-needed nutritional supplements at no cost to the children through a partnership with the Ghana School Feeding Programme and nonprofit Project Peanut Butter.
“Ghana has a long history of producing peanuts, known locally as groundnuts. Yet rural farmers lack access to commercial buyers due to quality and food safety issues, so they struggle with low incomes,” said Mike Wege, chief administrative officer at The Hershey Co. “By sharing our world class expertise in peanut production, roasting and processing, we hope to increase the quality and safety of Ghana’s peanut supply, improve the livelihoods of its farmers and promote a sustainable supply chain for basic nutrition.”
In addition to capacity building and training for local peanut farmers, Hershey will provide financial and in-kind resources to rehabilitate a local peanut roasting facility and implement training on the appropriate roasting techniques. Hershey will establish a premium price for purchasing the peanuts as an ingredient for the Vivi nutritional supplement.
The commitment to source 100% local peanuts for Vivi is part of Hershey’s global social purpose to provide children with the basic nutrition they need to learn and grow. It builds on Hershey’s existing Energize Learning program, which will help feed 50,000 Ghanaian children by 2016 by distributing Vivi during the school day.