Solving the world's major challenges like hunger and poverty requires new ideas, original thinking and, not least, collaboration.

In 2018, Novozymes was invited to join the Sustainable Food Partnership. The ambition is to create a production of food products in Ethiopia, which can both increase nutritional value and at the same time support sustainable economic development.

The aim is to achieve this by using locally produced raw materials rather than imported raw materials and through local job creation throughout the value chain, from the farmer to the sale of the food. See more in this video.

In 2018, the partnership was awarded $100,000 in startup support from P4G (Partnering for Green Growth and Global Goals). P4G has since announced a further $500,000 in support, which goes towards a very specific project: the development of a protein-rich biscuit to alleviate hunger in refugee camps and poor urban areas.

The biscuit was developed by the partnership comprising Arla Foods Ingredients, Novozymes and DanChurchAid. It is to be made from whey protein and local quinoa produced with enzymes and produced in an Ethiopian biscuit factory. The partnership's objective now is to scale biscuit production, ensuring sustainability throughout the value chain.

"It is an ambition that can only be achieved through close collaboration with local actors, authorities and organizations," says Peter Steen Mortensen of Novozymes’ Public Affairs team.

In addition to DanChurchAid, Arla Foods Ingredients and Novozymes, the Danish Minister of Development Cooperation, Rasmus Prehn, is part of the project. Novozymes contributes knowledge, technology and research facilities.

A fundamental change

Traditionally, relief organizations worldwide have sent money and relief to Africa. When the famine ravaged Ethiopia, rock stars like Bob Geldof and Bono formed 'Band Aid', releasing the song 'Do They Know It’s Christmas' in 1984. The single became a huge hit and, together with the Live Aid concert the following year, raised millions of dollars for Ethiopia.

They put Africa on the political agenda and opened the eyes of many to the fact that global challenges are a shared responsibility. But that did not solve the long-term problem of hunger and poverty.

What’s new here, is the ambition to create local jobs and ensure sustainable economic development. Both local and Danish companies are building new business in a sustainable way that lives up to the U.N.'s Global Goals.

"Very many elements need to fall into place for this partnership to succeed, in collaboration and technically. It’s challenging and it’s difficult, " Peter says. "But the ambition and aim here is that we strive to make a fundamental change to alleviate hunger and empower local development.” 

    About P4G
    P4G is a Danish initiative with participating countries and organizations from all over the world. The network aims to develop public-private partnerships. The partnerships will promote concrete solutions to the U.N.'s Global Goals and the Paris climate agreement in 2015, such as climate change and hunger.