SAINT PAUL, Minn., Sept. 27, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- Land O'Lakes President and CEO Chris Policinski spoke today about the importance of the private sector moving beyond corporate social responsibility represented in financial terms to creating shared value through hands-on commitments that simultaneously advance agricultural development, food security and investment opportunities for the private sector.
His remarks were made at a panel discussion sponsored by the United Nations General Assembly and hosted by Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton and Malawi's President Joyce Banda.
"It's about transitioning from writing a check to working in tandem with people around the world," Policinski said. "Land O'Lakes helps farmers in developing countries move from subsistence farming to farming as a business, helping the private sector gain traction and grow a reliable customer base. It's authentically sustainable corporate social responsibility—helping people move up the value chain and providing real opportunities for public-private partnerships that promote sustainable food security. The development community and private sector win."
Columnist Nicholas D. Kristof of The New York Times moderated the event "Feed the Future, Partnering with Civil Society." Dr. Rajiv Shah, Administrator of the United States Agency for International Development (USAID); Dr. Laurent Sedogo, Minister of Agriculture and Water Resources of Burkina Faso; Mr. Willington Wamayeye, Founder and Director of the Gumutindo Coffee Cooperative in Uganda; and Dr. Carolyn Woo, CEO of Catholic Relief Services, also participated in the panel discussion, which focused on how governments, civil society and the private sector have advanced sustainable food security and nutrition during the last three years.
"For more than 30 years, Land O'Lakes has worked with farmers to help them join cooperatives that function as enterprises," Policinski said. "We help agricultural input and service providers improve access to a reliable customer base and build strong, sustainable markets. It also creates numerous opportunities for meaningful investments that make a strong social impact."
Since 1981, Land O'Lakes International Development has applied an integrated approach to agricultural development through more than 275 programs in 76 developing countries. These programs have helped farmers and cooperatives create sustainable and profitable agricultural systems while assisting private sector input providers and processors to better respond to farmers' needs. In 2011, Land O'Lakes managed 33 agricultural development projects in 28 countries with funding primarily coming from USAID and the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA).
"With small capital investments, farmers can get their products to market easier, reinvest their profits, send their children to school, access healthcare, and improve not only their own lives, but also the lives of their neighbors and extended families," Policinski said.
Land O'Lakes, Inc. (www.landolakesinc.com) is a national, farmer-owned food and agricultural cooperative with annual sales of nearly $13 billion. The nation's second-largest cooperative and number 210 on the Fortune 500, Land O'Lakes does business in all 50 states and more than 60 countries. Operating as a not-for-profit division of the cooperative, since 1981, Land O'Lakes International Development has improved the quality of life for millions of people in 76 nations through more than 275 projects worldwide that are generating economic growth, improving health and nutrition, and alleviate poverty by facilitating market-driven business solutions.
SOURCE Land O'Lakes, Inc.