NUMBER OF COMPANIES WE HAVE PROVIDED CUSTOMIZED TECHNICAL OR BUSINESS ASSISTANCE TO AND/OR TRAINED IN FY2020.
we work in
11 African countries
with a combined population of
550 million people
our clients produced
Quality Safety Services
Nutrition Fortification Services
Meal Serving Equivalents
in our client's supply chains
by our clients
was obtained by our clients to expand and grow their businesses
trained in year-long program
connecting local, national, and international stakeholders
Local & Regional Universities
to bring resources, facilitate collaboration, and develop deep and lasting partnerships.
The Swahili word harambee - which translates to 'all pull together' - is used across East Africa to encompass the concept of placing the community before the individual. To give what you can to those in need. That same concept is at the heart of why Partners in Food Solutions was formed. To connect the expertise of our corporate volunteers with the enterprising food companies of Africa in order to work together for greater food security. In Fiscal Year 2020, our volunteers and clients continued in their true partnership, with one greater purpose in mind - all pulling together for a better world.
An Enduring Partnership
What began with a chance encounter over the copy machine in TechnoServe’s Washington DC headquarters 12 years ago, has now become an integral and enduring part of our work to bring technical and business expertise to food companies in Africa.
On his first trip to Washington to shop the idea for PFS to potential collaborators, Co-founder Jeff Dykstra was met with a lot of blank stares. This new idea, to use the expertise of employees of industry-leading food companies to help food processing companies, was a complete departure from other efforts to improve food security in Africa. Most were focused either on the supply side - farmers - or the demand side - consumers, and almost no one was focused on where the two meet - local food processing companies. TechnoServe, with its mission of promoting business solutions to poverty and a private sector orientation, understood the importance of the middle of the food value chain and the critical, and under-leveraged, role they play in a local food economy.
A chance meeting
“We stopped in unannounced and caught one of their directors, Susan Bornstein, as she was hurriedly making copies for another meeting, but she listened and seemed to instantly understand the potential of the idea,” Jeff said. “I flew home and literally two days later I received a short proposal that was spot on - here is what we heard you want to do, here is what we could do, here is how we would work together, and here are the next steps.”
To date we have together provided expertise and training to 1484 clients in seven countries across the continent. Companies like Shambani Milk, a dairy processor in a remote region of Tanzania, who have worked with volunteers and TechnoServe Tanzania-based staff to improve the shelf life of their dairy products by 43 percent.
“We have been able to get the [Hazard Analysis Critical Control Point] manual of operating procedures and use it, and it has helped us a lot to reduce the losses that we had before,” Shambani Co-owner and COO Rehema Mmari said. “We are very thankful for the [Partners in Food Solutions] volunteers and TechnoServe staff for the valuable input they have given us. They are part of our success and we have gained a lot.”
The right expertise at the right time
They have also seen their sales increase 27 percent since they began working with Technoserve and Partners in Food Solutions. It shows that these types of improvements can and do have a significant positive impact on businesses and the customers they serve.
Kindra Halverson, TechnoServe’s Chief Transformation Officer, said ”It's been an incredible experience to grow this partnership with PFS over ten years, and to see its critical impact on economic development, nutrition, and local employment. Particularly in these challenging times that are stressing food systems around the world, the power of a public-private collaboration to promote the production of safe, nutritious food for everyone has never been more clear. It's a privilege to work with such an innovative and committed partner as PFS, and we look forward to even greater progress in the future."
“Just like we strive to be, TechnoServe is a learning organization that is always working to adapt and improve how they work,” Jeff said. “Our partnership continues to evolve and is continuing to seek ways to create greater impact, and for that we are grateful.”
Client & Volunteer Feedback
client satisfaction score
volunteer satisfaction score
clients say recommendations will have significant impact on their business
Volunteers say they have developed a new or improved skill
i have applied lessons from my pfs volunteer experience in my pROFESSIONAL life
"They are part of our success"
Volunteers may be thousands of miles away, but for many PFS clients they are trusted partners, critical to an entrepreneur's success. Rehema Mmani, co-founder and COO of Shambani Milk in Tanzania, shares her thanks with the long list of volunteers and invites us to "enjoy the journey of Shambani milk."
Impact by the Numbers - FY2020
farmers in client supply chains
employees in client companies
volunteers engaged in projects
of clientS ARE women-owned and/or led
Fiscal Year 2020
14% Ask an Expert
1% Low-Interest Loans
1% PFS Operations
19% Quality & Regulatory
17% Product Development
8% Marketing & Brand Design
7% Process Development
5% Nutrition & Fortification
23% Other (Business)
15% Other (Technical)
Our Board of Directors
Kojo Amoo-Gottfried Vice President, Agriculture Supply Chain North America Business, Cargill
Will Bonifant Vice President, International Supply Chain & Manufacturing, The Hershey Company
John Brase Chief Operating Officer, The J.M. Smucker Company
Kofi Bruce Chief Financial Officer, General Mills
Dan Dye Chief Executive Officer, Ardent Mills
Jon Nudi Group President, North America Retail, General Mills
Ken Powell Former Chairman & Chief Executive Officer, General Mills
Purbita Ray Senior Director, Research & Development, General Mills
Andy Sharpe President & CEO, Bühler North America
Hugh C. Welsh General Counsel, Secretary & President, DSM North America
Bruce Wilkinson CEO & President, Catholic Medical Mission Board