News Releases

Feb 24, 2012

USAID honors General Mills with global citizenship recognition


Administrator Dr. Rajiv Shah recognizes company employees for technical philanthropy with Africa food processors

MINNEAPOLIS, Minn. – Today, U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) Administrator Dr. Rajiv Shah visited General Mills’ technical center in Minneapolis to recognize employee volunteers for their global citizenship. The recognition was given to General Mills for its work with food processors and small-holder farmers in Africa through its hunger-fighting nonprofit, Partners in Food Solutions (PFS).

During his remarks, Shah thanked employee volunteers for using their unique technical and business expertise to help African food processers produce high-quality, nutritious and safe food at affordable prices, thereby increasing the demand for the crops of small-holder farmers. Shah also discussed how PFS supports USAID’s global hunger and food security initiative, Feed the Future. USAID has been a pivotal partner to General Mills as the agency helps shape and guide PFS through a public-private partnership formed in 2010.

General Mills’ Chairman and CEO Ken Powell accepted USAID’s Global Citizenship recognition on behalf of the PFS employee volunteers.

“For General Mills, a key way for us to have an impact (on global poverty) is by sharing our food technology expertise,” said Powell.  “I am honored to accept the Global Citizenship Award on behalf of General Mills, and specifically, the more than 300 volunteers who have stepped up to make this effort a reality. Through their work, and the meaningful support of our partners, we are making a measurable difference.”

Powell went on to highlight the passion of several employee volunteers and shared excitement about his upcoming trip to Africa to meet with food processors and small-holder farmers involved with PFS.

Also in attendance at the event were several Minnesota dignitaries, including Sen. Amy Klobuchar, Rep. Erik Paulsen, Rep. Keith Ellison and Rep. Betty McCollum. Powell thanked each of them for their engagement in fighting hunger and addressing human rights issues in Minnesota and around the world.

PFS is currently working with 30 food processors on 77 projects in Kenya, Zambia, Tanzania and Malawi. As these food processors grow, they are able to hire more workers and buy more raw materials from small-holder farmers. With more income, the farmers can pay school fees, access better medical care and start businesses.

During his remarks, Powell thanked Cargill, DSM and TechnoServe. All work collectively with USAID and General Mills to fight hunger in Africa through PFS. Cargill and DSM joined PFS in 2011 and are critical partners that have helped expand the nonprofit’s reach and depth of technical expertise. TechnoServe, a U.S. based nonprofit, helps facilitate and manage PFS projects locally in Africa.

About Partners in Food Solutions
Partners in Food Solutions (PFS) is a nonprofit organization that links the technical and business expertise of volunteer employees from General Mills, Cargill and Royal DSM to small and medium-sized mills and food processors in the developing world.  Its goals are to improve the ability of those companies to produce high-quality, nutritious and safe food at affordable prices, and to increase demand for the crops of small-holder farmers who supply those businesses. PFS draws upon additional partners TechnoServe and the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID). TechnoServe offers in-depth country knowledge that helps make for successful on-the-ground program implementation, and the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) helps shape and guide PFS by sharing strengths, experiences, methodologies and resources through a public-private partnership formed in 2010. Visit for more information about Partners in Food Solutions or watch this short video.

About General Mills
One of the world's leading food companies, General Mills operates in more than 100 countries and markets more than 100 consumer brands, including Cheerios, Häagen-Dazs, Nature Valley, Betty Crocker, Pillsbury, Green Giant, Old El Paso, Progresso, Yoplait, Cascadian Farm, Muir Glen, and more. Headquartered in Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA, General Mills had fiscal 2011 global net sales of US$14.9 billion. 

Since 1961, the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) has been the principal U.S. agency to extend assistance to countries recovering from disaster, trying to escape poverty, and engaging in democratic reforms.  The Agency carries out U.S. foreign policy by promoting broad-scale human progress at the same time it expands stable, free societies, creates markets and trade partners for the United States, and fosters good will abroad.

Contact: Kris Patton
             General Mills



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