New initiative aims to demonstrate the business case for supporting a gender-inclusive supply chain while increasing sustainable food production
PepsiCo (NASDAQ: PEP) announced a new five-year, $20 million partnership with the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) under the Women’s Global Development and Prosperity (W-GDP) Initiative, supporting the global food and beverage leader’s efforts to empower women in agriculture and help build a more sustainable food system. The goal of the project is to drive inclusivity across the food and beverage industry by demonstrating that actively engaging women as critical drivers of PepsiCo’s sustainable sourcing strategy leads to better business results.
According to the Food and Agriculture Organization, if women farmers had the same access to resources as their male counterparts, their food production would increase by up to 30% and help eliminate hunger for 150 million people. However, the lack of land rights, limited access to information, technology, and financing, and expectations of domestic work based on prevailing gender norms are barriers to achieving this reality.
To help address these challenges, USAID and PepsiCo will each invest an initial $5 million to jumpstart the program, which will support women-owned small- and medium-enterprises and women-led PepsiCo suppliers to improve the resiliency of rural farming communities in Asia, the Middle East, and Latin America.
“At USAID, we believe that investing in women is key to advancing a country along its journey to self-reliance. The full economic inclusion of half the world’s population ultimately will contribute to greater peace and prosperity for all. However, we cannot do this important work without collaborating with the private sector. Through the W-GDP Fund, our partnership with PepsiCo will promote economic opportunities and leadership roles for women farmers,” said USAID Acting Administrator John Barsa.
This partnership builds on the lessons learned from PepsiCo and USAID’s recent project in West Bengal, which helps women lease land, as well as provides trainings on a broad range of topics including record keeping and pest control, the best irrigation and crop rotation techniques for their region, and the role of women in agriculture and the cultural norms that hold them back. Ultimately, it is expected that the training program in West Bengal will reach more than 300,000 women through direct and community engagement.
“We are thrilled to again partner with USAID to further create more opportunities for women to take on leadership roles in their communities,” said Christine Daugherty, VP, Global Sustainable Agriculture & Responsible Sourcing, PepsiCo. “We expect that by engaging women as critical partners, on-farm productivity will increase, compliance with our sustainability standards will improve, supply chain performance will be strengthened, and we will contribute to the long-term resilience of farming communities and PepsiCo’s success. After all, we know that women make up nearly half of the agricultural workforce and by investing in women, we can have a greater impact.”
PepsiCo will integrate findings from this partnership into its Sustainable Farming Program, advancing positive social, environmental and economic outcomes among the farmers from which the company directly sources crops. Both organizations hope this project will demonstrate the business case for a gender-inclusive supply chain and serve as a catalyst for change as other food and beverage companies look for new ways to increase productivity.
PepsiCo products are enjoyed by consumers more than one billion times a day in more than 200 countries and territories around the world. PepsiCo generated more than $67 billion in net revenue in 2019, driven by a complementary food and beverage portfolio that includes Frito-Lay, Gatorade, Pepsi-Cola, Quaker and Tropicana. PepsiCo’s product portfolio includes a wide range of enjoyable foods and beverages, including 23 brands that generate more than $1 billion each in estimated annual retail sales.
Guiding PepsiCo is our vision to Be the Global Leader in Convenient Foods and Beverages by Winning with Purpose. “Winning with Purpose” reflects our ambition to win sustainably in the marketplace and embed purpose into all aspects of the business. For more information, visit www.pepsico.com.
About the W-GDP Initiative
In February 2019, the White House established the Women’s Global Development and Prosperity (W-GDP) Initiative, the first whole-of-government approach to women’s economic empowerment. W-GDP seeks to reach 50 million women in the developing world by 2025 by focusing on three pillars – Women Prospering in the Workforce, Women Succeeding as Entrepreneurs and Women Enabled in the Economy. W-GDP leverages a new innovative fund, scaling private-public partnerships which address the three pillars. In its first year alone, W-GDP programs reached 12 million women across the globe.
The United States Agency for International Development (USAID) is the world’s premier international development agency and a catalytic actor driving development results. USAID’s work advances U.S. national security and economic prosperity, demonstrates American generosity, and promotes a path to recipient self-reliance and resilience.
PepsiCo Cautionary Statement
Statements in this release regarding PepsiCo that are “forward-looking statements” are based on currently available information, operating plans and projections about future events and trends. Forward-looking statements inherently involve risks and uncertainties. For information on certain factors that could cause actual events or results to differ materially from expectations, please see PepsiCo’s filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission, including its most recent annual report on Form 10-K and subsequent reports on Forms 10-Q and 8-K. Investors are cautioned not to place undue reliance on any such forward-looking statements, which speak only as of the date they are made. PepsiCo undertakes no obligation to update any forward-looking statements, whether as a result of new information, future events or otherwise.
Source: PepsiCo, Inc.