Coca-Cola trying to do good?

While this blog began as a look at how five big businesses are attempting to improve the livelihoods and food security of small-scale farmers in developing countries (see previous blog post), it quickly became more than a single blog’s worth of information, in particular, on just Coca-Cola alone. Hence this second instalment looking at the multiple initiatives Coca-Cola, with a number of partners, are running across a variety of themes. As with the last blog we’ll leave it up to you as to whether you think these initiatives add up to a sum total of “doing good”.

coceAt the US-Africa Leaders summit Coca-Cola announced a new investment into its African bottling partners of $5 billion over six years, bringing their total investment, between 2010 and 2020, to $17 billion. This money will be invested in Africa, where they have been working since 1928, in new manufacturing lines and equipment, creating more jobs, as well as several of Coca-Cola’s sustainability initiatives based around sustainable sourcing, safe water access and women’s empowerment. Some of these initiatives include:

Project Nurture – an $11.5 million partnership with the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and TechnoServe launched in 2010 supporting 50,000 small-scale mango and passion fruit farmers in in Kenya and Uganda to sustainably grow their crops and double their fruit incomes. As of June 2013, more than 50,000 farmers who were successfully organized into 1,100 producer business groups have been recruited, more than 70 community extension service providers and 48,500 farmers have been trained in agronomic practices, and two processors have been approved as suppliers in the Coca-Cola’s supply chain.

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Pastoralism and Development in Africa: Dynamic Change at the Margins

Pastoralism is often seen as a traditional way of life rather than a thriving sector but livestock trade in the Horn of Africa is estimated to be worth $1 billion, an economic growth that has brought broader benefits for agriculture in the area.

A new book edited by Andy Catley, Jeremy Lind and Ian Scoones looks at how by focusing on city hubs, policy makers may be missing out on opportunities for investment in rural areas that could have multiplier effects for the rural economy as a whole, in turn boosting the country’s economic growth.

The book, in a collection of case studies, presents the diversity, adaptability and creativity of pastoralists as well as the challenges they face in the hopes that policymakers will see the importance of pro-pastoralism policies not only as a route to supporting livelihoods but as an opportunity for economic growth.