For Immediate Release
WASHINGTON, D.C. – USAID and Walmart signed an agreement on March 14 to support small rural farmers in Central America and to connect them to the retailer’s regional and international supply chains.
The new partnership links Feed the Future, the U.S. government's global hunger and food security initiative, with Walmart's Global Sustainable Agriculture Goals. Small rural farmers in Central America will earn more from their fresh fruit and vegetable production, which will help them climb out of poverty. Consumers will benefit from greater access to locally-grown produce.
“Public-private partnerships like this one are crucial to USAID’s long-term food security and job creation objectives in Central America. Through these alliances, USAID leverages its resources; our private sector partners meet core business goals; and the rural poor improve their livelihoods” said Mark Feierstein, USAID’s Assistant Administrator in the Bureau for Latin America and the Caribbean.
Feierstein and Walmart’s Executive Vice President for Corporate Affairs, Leslie Dach, signed the Memorandum of Understanding formalizing the partnership.
Walmart’s Global Sustainable Agriculture Goals were announced in October 2010 and focus on three broad areas – supporting farmers and their communities, producing more food with less waste, and sustainably sourcing key agricultural products.
“Our commitment to the ‘live better’ part of our mission means that we use the size and scale of our business to make a difference on important social issues like food security and agricultural development,” said Eduardo Solorzano, president and CEO of Walmart Latinoamerica. “This partnership with the USAID allows us to broaden and accelerate our commitment to help small rural farmers in Central America lead a better life while also bringing our customers more affordable and higher quality food.”
The USAID-Walmart regional agreement builds on experience gained from previous collaborations in Guatemala, Honduras, Nicaragua and El Salvador. One of the lessons learned is that formal relationships between the suppliers and the corporate buyers provide the long-term perspective necessary to ensure the sustainability of the program. Another is that small farmers benefit greatly when buyers explain their quality and quantity standards and share their production calendars.
The funding for the three-year agreement comes from USAID, Walmart, the Walmart Foundation, NGO partners, national governments, and other private sector partners.
For more information about USAID, please visit: www.usaid.gov.
Last updated: April 15, 2014