Launched with initial investments of $5 million each from the two organizations under USAID's Women's Global Development and Prosperity (W-GDP) Initiative, the program will work to advance inclusivity in the food and beverage industry by demonstrating that actively engaging women as drivers of PepsiCo's sustainable sourcing strategy leads to better business results. To that end, the program will support women-owned small and midsize enterprises (SMEs) and women-led PepsiCo suppliers with the aim of improving the resiliency of rural farming communities in Asia, the Middle East, and Latin America.
Research by the Food and Agriculture Organization suggests that if women farmers had the same access to resources as their male counterparts, their food production would increase by up to 30 percent and would help eliminate hunger for a hundred and fifty million people. But in many countries around the world, women farmers continue to face barriers to equal access, including being excluded from owning land, limited access to technology and financing, and expectations based on prevailing gender norms.
"We expect that by engaging women as critical partners, on-farm productivity will increase, compliance with our sustainability standards will improve, supply chain performance will be strengthened, and we will contribute to the long-term resilience of farming communities and PepsiCo's success," said Christine Daugherty, PepsiCo's vice president of global sustainable agriculture and responsible sourcing. "After all, we know that women make up nearly half of the agricultural workforce, and by investing in women, we can have a greater impact."