(Wall Street Journal) — Food companies have long donated money and surplus food to fight hunger in Africa, but some of the biggest firms are now plowing people and money into a new strategy aimed at helping the continent feed itself. General Mills Inc., Cargill Inc. and Dutch food-science company Royal DSM NV are expected Wednesday to announce a nonprofit called Partners in Food Solutions to help global food makers share their technological and other expertise with food processing companies in African nations and, eventually, other developing countries.
The companies will volunteer their own people to advise small and midsize African food processors on how to fix manufacturing problems, develop products, improve packaging, extend shelf lives and find new markets. The firms believe putting these African companies on a stronger economic footing will help the farmers who supply them and make food more plentiful on the continent. “We’ve donated money and commodities” in the past, said F. Kerr Dow, Cargill vice president of global food technology. “This is knowledge transfer, and that makes you a lot more personally connected.”