AFRICA – PepsiCo has heightened its commitment to the sub-Saharan market under the newly launched Pep+ (Pep Positive) plan, a strategic end-to-end transformation initiative with sustainability at its core, aimed at inspiring positive change for the planet and its people.

Pep+ is aimed to guide the food manufacturer on how to transform its business operations: from sourcing ingredients, making and selling its products in a more sustainable way.

This is as it leverages on its more than one billion connections with consumers each day to take sustainability mainstream and engage people to make choices that are better for themselves and the planet.

Commenting on Pep+, Tertius Carstens, PepsiCo sub-Saharan CEO said, “PepsiCo is deeply committed to enhancing sustainability in all stages of the food chain and everyone from farmer to consumer has a role to play.

“There are a number of key initiatives underway and Pep+ drives action and progress across three key pillars, bringing together a number of industry-leading 2030 goals under a comprehensive framework.”

In PepsiCo SSA, some of these same initiatives are underway to advance this PepsiCo Positive agenda, from the company’s food relief efforts for vulnerable communities to making a positive social impact through its brands.

Through the Development Fund, according to reports by Bizcommunity, the owner of Lay’s brand will invest R300m (of the total R600m) in agricultural activities that build the capacity of disadvantaged emerging farmers and black-owned businesses; promote regenerative agriculture practices and encourage the adoption of innovation to revitalise local production within South Africa’s agriculture sector.

While in Uganda, the She Feeds the World programme has been a great success and has improved the livelihoods of thousands of people, the company said.

The remainder of the investment into the Development Fund, includes R100m for SMEs within the company’s supply chain and R200m for education, including scholarships for previously disadvantaged individuals acquiring qualifications or skills that contribute to transforming the South African food system.

The company’s African operations have also committed to creating a positive value chain by supporting initiatives that improve water efficiency and deliver safe access to water to communities.

Last month the PepsiCo Foundation launched a new US$1m programme in partnership with WaterAid to bring safe water to families in sub-Saharan Africa.

 This investment builds on the Foundation’s US$350 000 grant to fund water access and sanitation projects in communities across South Africa.

Further, it is continuing its water stewardship journey, having successfully adopted the Alliance for Water Stewardship Standard at its Parow Plant – plans are underway to extend it to more sites across South Africa before the end of the year.

Its brands across the food and beverage portfolio are accelerating their efforts to realise PepsiCo’s sustainable packaging vision and leveraging their influence to educate consumers on recycling and the planetary impacts of their choices.

Carstens added, “Earlier this year, through Lay’s RePlay we unveiled the first sustainable artificial soccer pitch in Tembisa, South Africa made from over three million reclaimed chip packages.

“This initiative, in partnership with the UEFA Foundation for children and NGO Streetfootballworld, aimed to develop programming that goes beyond the field to empower youth, promote inclusivity and develop key life skills.”

The group’s range of 100% fruit juice and reduced sugar nectars and dilutable is helping consumers make healthier choices, the company indicated.

Ceres is launching a new project that will see all the plastic straws on its juice boxes replaced by bio-degradable paper straws.

This follows a major investment last year in technology to improve the packaging of Ceres products, making them 100% recyclable.

In Nigeria, Quaker will be launching a pilot in 2022 to develop low-cost high nutrient products designed for lower-income families to help address malnutrition in urban and rural areas.

Pep+ will drive action and progress across three key pillars: Positive Agriculture, Positive Value Chain and Positive Choices, bringing together several goals under a comprehensive framework.

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