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PepsiCo launches fund to help build a sustainable food system in South Africa – hortidaily.com

Food and beverage company PepsiCo today launched the Kgodiso Development Fund, a five-year, R600 million investment to help transform the food system in South Africa. It will look to create ‘shared value’ solutions that ultimately help build a sustainable food system by creating local employment opportunities and increasing local procurement and supplier diversity.
“PepsiCo aims to play a bigger role in supporting activities that contribute to  the long-term sustainability and resilience of South Africa’s food system,” says Tertius Carstens, CEO of PepsiCo Sub-Saharan Africa (SSA).  “The Kgodiso Development Fund will act as a catalyst to create local jobs, increase local procurement, build small businesses, support education and holistically contribute to black economic empowerment in South Africa.” 
The Fund has hopes to deliver a meaningful impact through its commitment to creating shared value solutions and transformation of supply and value chains. Although founded by PepsiCo it will be run as an independent Fund, with an Executive Director and a Board of Trustees. 
“The Kgodiso Development Fund will prioritise activities that supports the growth and scaling of  black-owned emerging farming enterprises and SMME businesses, promote regenerative agriculture practices and encourage the adoption of innovation to revitalise local production within South Africa’s agriculture sector,” explains Executive Director, Diale Tilo.
Tilo was appointed in early 2022, and brings with him a wealth of on-farm practical crop production experience, structured training and development, financing of agribusinesses and SMMEs across multiple sectors.
The Fund will allocate R300 million to agricultural development to assist black-owned emerging farming enterprises to upscale their  businesses and ensure that they are provided with opportunities to integrate into the value chain. “This will help transform the country’s agricultural landscape by developing a new generation of sustainable farming enterprises,” says Tilo
Additionally, R200 million will support education to enable initiatives that provide appropriate training and upskilling – thereby enhancing the skills pipeline in the country. Carstens says, “This will assist in unlocking the immense potential of South Africa’s human capital by addressing key skills and knowledge gaps in the food system.” Within this pillar, PepsiCo launched a Graduate and Future Leaders programme in 2021.
Finally, the Fund will allocate R100 million to SMMEs to provide incubation and technological support to those small businesses which can provide their goods or services to PepsiCo or its partners. “This investment looks to encourage unique innovation, increase competitiveness and drive economic inclusion by building a pipeline of suppliers and entrepreneur networks, and by providing them a route to market, business development support, funding and mentoring.”

For more information: polity.org.za
Publication date: Fri 18 Mar 2022

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