ROME, Italy – The United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) and Kemin Industries have formed an alliance to help improve shelf life and protect the microbiological safety of food commodities distributed worldwide by the international agency.
Kemin and WFP, the world’s largest food aid agency, signed a letter of understanding at the agency’s headquarters in Rome on June 9, recognizing Kemin’s expertise in assessing the shelf life of food commodities used in emergency relief and development aid. Hunger afflicts an estimated 850 million people in developing countries.
Under the agreement, Kemin will work with WFP on a pro bono basis for two years to provide technical assistance and expertise in developing programs to evaluate the food aid agency’s commodities for safety against spoilage, bacterial contamination and loss of vital nutrients.
Prolonging the shelf life of the WFP’s food commodities is critical because of the need for holding large inventories over a period of time, as well as protecting their quality and safety against contamination while being transported to countries plagued by natural disaster and difficult climatic conditions.
“We deliver food to some of the most far- flung and inaccessible regions of the world,” said WFP Executive Director James Morris. “Prolonging the shelf life of that food, keeping it safe to eat for the people who so desperately need it is crucial. It could mean the difference between life and death for hundreds of thousands of people.”
Kemin has also agreed to provide training to WFP staff in the field as needed in the technical aspects of shelf- life extension.
“Kemin’s hands-on partnership with WFP is both a tremendous honor and a tremendous responsibility. We are excited and extremely gratified for the opportunity to apply Kemin’s expertise in developing and providing ingredients that support the quality and shelf life of foods in one of the international community’s most important humanitarian
efforts,” said Kemin President Christopher Nelson.
“There is no better or more meaningful way for Kemin to further its vision of touching half of the people of the world with our products and services,” added Nelson. The World Food Programme (www.wfp.org), was established in 1961 by the United Nations to address problems of world hunger and provide food relief for refugees and victims of natural disasters. In 2004, the program shipped food supplies to 80 countries, serving 113 million people.
Earlier this year, in one of its most complex emergency operations ever, WFP provided emergency food assistance to 1.75 million survivors of the tsunami that hit coasts in the Indian Ocean, helping to avert widespread starvation and malnutrition in its wake.
Kemin Industries (www.kemin.com), is a Des Moines, IA-based developer and manufacturer of nutritional ingredients for food and nutritional supplement companies throughout the world. Kemin also supports international efforts that encourage and assist in advancing the quality and availability of food, including the World Food Prize.
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CONTACT FROM KEMIN: CONTACT FROM WFP:
Craig Maltby Robin Lodge
515-248-4037 World Food Programme
[email protected] (+39) 06-6513-3201