General Mills, Inc.Presented to Chairman & CEO Ken Powell
As the world’s sixth-largest food company, General Mills is dedicated to alleviating hunger and improving nutrition in some of the poorest nations in Africa and elsewhere around the globe. The company strategically donates 5% of pre-tax profits and engages 82% of U.S. employees in volunteer activities. At the World Economic Forum in Davos in 2006, General Mills’ Chairman and CEO Ken Powell heeded the call of a group of CEOs and public leaders urging attendees to take action against global hunger. He returned to General Mills and immediately focused on driving the development of a strategic platform for the company in Africa.
|GENERAL MILLS IN AFRICA|
General Mills understands the need for long-lasting and sustainable change that addresses the root of the problem. The company’s African Women and Children’s Hunger Program began as a large-scale effort to feed hungry children at schools in Malawi; however, General Mills soon realized that shipping more than one million meals to schools in one year was costly and unsustainable. Thus, the program was redesigned to tackle the underlying causes of hunger and poverty by educating, empowering, and financially supporting women in their roles as farmers, food processors, and providers. Primarily in Malawi and Tanzania, the initiatives focus on effective and innovative agriculture, food processing, and community investments that reduce hunger and lead to economic self-sufficiency.
Today, General Mills partners with many multinational and African NGOs and nonprofits to make a measurable impact on the huge challenges that hunger and poverty present. Along with Chris Shea, President of the General Mills Foundation, and other key company leaders, Mr. Powell has mobilized employees to forge an innovative partnership with CARE– which in turn has led to the creation of Join My Village, an interactive Web-based program. Join My Village leverages General Mills’ cause-marketing expertise by allowing site visitors to take part in a variety of simple online activities that effectively unlock General Mills’ donation dollars. All funds raised go straight to Malawi to support CARE’s poverty-fighting efforts, including the establishment of village savings and loan associations (VSLAs) and improved access to education for girls.
Through the transformation of General Mills’ African Women and Children’s Hunger Program–from an immediate relief initiative into a more effective and sustainable campaign–General Mills has helped more than 250,000 Africans gain the training and resources they need to achieve self-sufficiency and job fulfillment.