One of our company’s goals is to help support the livelihoods of half a million farmers, including 15,000 smallholder and women farmers, in our global supply chain. These farmers contribute to the world’s food supply, but often lack the resources and knowledge to improve their techniques in ways that will boost their incomes.
We support on-the-ground engagement efforts that provide resources and education to farmers around the globe. Our programs focus on practices for improved yields, crop diversification, adaptation of crop varieties, integrated pest management, post-harvest storage technology and waste reduction, access to markets, access to clean water and more. These practices can help improve farmers’ yields, which in turn improves their livelihoods, increases food availability and helps to address hunger.
To date, we estimate our programs are reaching about 8,000 smallholders, including approximately 3,000 women.
In the Eastern Cape of South Africa, for example, Kellogg launched a project to pilot a commercially viable smallholder maize value chain for 400 subsistence farmers — 70 percent of whom are women — covering 600 hectares. Through an innovative model, this project works closely with traditional leaders (tribal chiefs) and communities to organize subsistence maize farmers under a community-owned trust, through which farmers can pool their lands, enabling the adoption of modern, commercial farming techniques, the production of commercial-grade maize, and linkage to markets where they can sell their maize. In partnership with TechnoServe, Phase II of the project will focus on three primary objectives: expanding the reach to more smallholders; enhancing work on “climate smart” agricultural practices through access to and training on improved technology and modern farming practices; and linking production to Kellogg’s South Africa supply chain while reaching an additional 400 smallholders directly and benefiting approximately 3,200 farm laborers and household members indirectly.
Diane Holdorf, Chief Sustainability Officer
Meanwhile in India, Kellogg funding will help empower 5,000 women smallholders in Odisha, India’s poorest state, where gender-based inequalities are exacerbated within lower-caste and tribal communities. We’re partnering with The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and Cargill to help women smallholder farmers enhance their production of maize, promote secure and sustainable livelihoods, and improve their status in their communities.
We also are supporting projects with women cocoa farmers in Côte d’Ivoire and quinoa growers in Bolivia, among others.
Our work with women in the supply chain is earning recognition externally. Oxfam, for example, regularly issues a scorecard called “Behind the Brands,” which rates the efforts of 10 food and beverage companies to improve social and environmental standards in their supply chains. In 2016, Kellogg was recognized as “most improved,” moving to 4th place, up from 7th in 2015.
“We bring women’s empowerment to life in several ways,” said Diane Holdorf, Kellogg’s Chief Sustainability Officer. “Through our work and ingredient sourcing, Kellogg has the opportunity to help improve the livelihoods of women. And research has consistently shown that when women’s livelihoods improve, they invest in their families and communities, helping themselves and others to thrive.”
To learn more about our sustainability efforts with farmers, check out our latest Corporate Responsibility Update at http://www.kelloggcompany.com/en_US/corporate-responsibility.html.