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Some of PFS' Board of Directors

Highlights from our FY '24 Board Meeting

The last couple of weeks have been a whirlwind of activities at the PFS headquarters in Minnesota! We held our board meeting to close the fiscal year, which also marked the end of our three-year strategy of going deeper with clients. We are thrilled to share some of our accomplishments, which include: 

  • Increased average duration of client relationship and number of services delivered to them
  • Diversified and increased ways to engage volunteers
  • Expanded our high-potential client base to over 200 nutritious food companies across 9 markets
  • Helped high-potential clients under our direct model increase their revenue growth
  • Established lasting relationships with private family, and institutional donors and successfully completed the AINFP program
  • Established a new services team to expand our service offerings to holistically address client needs 
  • Connected clients as a cohort through networking dinners and Executive Leadership sessions

We are truly grateful for the generosity of our corporate partners and donors, whose support has helped us expand our program and reach more beneficiaries than ever before. Our prudent financial management has also ensured that we maintain a healthy balance sheet, positioning us strongly for the coming year.

Another highlight of the board meeting was a much-anticipated visit from incoming CEO Mandla Nkomo, who engaged with staff, volunteers, and other leaders. He shared some of his insights and what he looks forward to in the upcoming year.

 

 

Looking Ahead

As we reflect on the successes of the past year, we are filled with optimism for the future. Our board meeting reinforced the strength of our organization and the dedication of everyone involved. We extend our heartfelt gratitude to our outgoing CEO Jeff Dykstra, board of directors, corporate partners, staff, volunteers and donors for their unwavering support. With clear goals and a shared vision, we are poised to achieve even greater heights in the coming year.

Photo of man milling grain

Alliance For Inclusive And Nutritious Food Processing Comes to an End

Building on previous successful collaboration on food processing programs, in 2018, USAID, TechnoServe (TNS), and Partners in Food Solutions (PFS) launched the Alliance for Inclusive and Nutritious Food Processing (AINFP) to help create a more competitive African food processing sector. The AINFP was established under the U.S. Government’s Feed the Future initiative and supported food processing companies in five African countries, namely; Ethiopia, Kenya, Malawi, Tanzania, and Zambia. The partnership sought to improve inclusive and sustainable agriculture-led economic growth, support a well-nourished population, especially among women and children, and strengthen resilience among people and systems by increasing the capacity and inclusivity of African food processors.

We are pleased to share that the program has come to a successful end this year, with many success stories and learnings. Under the AINFP model, locally-based TechnoServe staff provided on-the-ground support and collaborated with PFS volunteers, who applied their knowledge and experience to help the processors address their unique manufacturing and business challenges. Over the six year period, 652 volunteers contributed their time and expertise to support over 200 clients in areas such as good manufacturing practices, quality control systems, improved shelf life, new and improved product development as well as business plans and marketing strategies. We are incredibly grateful to all volunteers, staff, local service providers, sector associations and government institutions who helped make this program a success. Reports and outcomes will be shared over the course of the year. Stay updated with AINFP on LinkedIn and hear from clients as they share the tangible impact made on their operations

Seeding The Future Foundation support key to success of PFS Kenya program

 

During his 21-year career with General Mills, Bernhard van Lengerich saw the power of philanthropy up close through the company’s foundation as well as many of its volunteer programs. He also had the opportunity to travel to East Africa with Partners in Food Solutions (PFS), a Minnesota-based and General Mills-founded non-profit organization which provides expertise to African food businesses primarily from volunteer employees of world-class food companies. Bernhard went on this trip to learn more about the food value chain and to see up close the work Partners in Food Solutions was doing and how it was helping to improve global food security. He returned to the US motivated.

“The discrepancy in food access and food supply between this region and western geographies or the ‘global north’ are staggering. Within less than 10 hours you can travel from a world where hundreds of millions of people are starving, struggling to find food, are undernourished and stunted, to a world where food is in abundance. Research data shows that in the U.S. alone, over 40% of all food is wasted or lost - equivalent to over $400 billion. Over 80% of the population is metabolically unhealthy and more than two-thirds are either obese or overweight,” van Lengerich said.

“My experiences in Africa along with my work experience at General Mills - a company with philanthropy at its soul - shaped the fundamental beliefs that led me to setting up Seeding The Future Foundation. These fundamentals still guide the foundation today: 1. Everyone must have equitable access to safe and nutritious food that is affordable, attractive, and trusted; 2. Chronic hunger is unacceptable, and 3. Game-changing ideas always start small in the lab but can have a transformative impact at scale when nurtured and enabled to grow.”