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18 October 2012 | Adam Leach
French high nutrient food manufacturer Nutriset is to strengthen its sustainable food production initiative by investing a further $5.8 million (£3.6 million) in its PlumpyField network of local businesses.
The company’s product Plumpy’nut is a peanut-based paste used to treat severe acute malnutrition. The product is also used to support economic development in regions across Africa, through the setting up of a series of franchises to produce and distribute it to local markets. Nutriset also provides franchisees with support and resources to help them develop their businesses.
Under the agreement, franchisees are committed to purchasing local crops, using local labour and employing sustainable production systems. The new investment, $2.6 million (£1.6 million) invested this year and a further $3.2 million (£2 million) in 2013, will be used to expand production of Plumpy’nut products and the franchise network in Burkina Faso, Ethiopia, Niger, and Tanzania.
Adeline Lescanne, Nutriset CEO, said in a statement: “Nutriset’s pledge to significantly increase our investment in our PlumpyField members will help them create local solutions to devastating food crises. We hope the $5.8 million will provide our partners with the tools they need to combat current famines and help promote the nutritional autonomy of all afflicted regions of the world.”
The network currently encompasses 11 small private manufacturers, two international NGOs and more than 500 local employees. The companies receiving the funding, InnoFaso SA in Burkina Faso, Hilina Enriched foods in Ethiopia, Société de Transformation Alimentaire in Niger and Power Foods in Tanzania, are all existing members of the network which will expand their operations through the funding. In 2011, the initiative fed 1.2 million children with Plumpy’nut products.