As global food insecurity reaches all-time highs, Elanco seeks to be an example of how one company can impact this growing crisis. On Thursday, the company announced its commitment to end hunger for 100,000 families globally through a partnership with Heifer International.
Elanco, a division of Eli Lilly and Company, a leading global pharmaceutical corporation, is also dedicated to helping create a hunger-free community for children around its central Indiana headquarters. Elanco’s hunger initiative, with significant funding from the Lilly Foundation, is an extension of Lilly’s overall corporate responsibility efforts, which also include: improving the health of undeserved people, improving U.S. public education, supporting people and communities through United Way and similar efforts, and environmental stewardship.
“We believe every person is born with the right to a hopeful future, and the right to be fed,” said Jeff Simmons, Elanco president and Senior Vice President of Eli Lilly and Company. “But today, 1 in 6 people globally are hungry. More than 25,000 people die each day from hunger and malnutrition. That’s like 60 fully loaded jumbo jets crashing each and every day.” As the population grows toward 9 billion at mid-century, the problem of hunger could grow staggeringly.
Through Elanco’s partnership with Heifer, they will identify small communities in emerging countries that could substantially benefit from the gift of an animal, as well as training in animal husbandry, health care and other practices. Heifer’s sustainable model is built on recipients “Passing of the Gift” of their animal’s first female offspring to other community members.
Already, Elanco and Heifer have begun work in two communities. Elanco’s first project with Heifer began in 2009 in the Lampung province of Indonesia. The five-year project will provide 2,100 families with cattle, ducks, plants and trees. Elanco’s 2010 project focused on the Copper Belt region of Zambia and will ultimately assist 6,210 families. In addition to the gifts of animals, Elanco and Heifer are working jointly to establish local milk market outlets, improve production and conservation practices and train animal health workers.
“This partnership involves more than just Elanco the company. It’s about the employees, too, and customers, the company’s entire network, working with us and with smallholder farmers to help them transform their own lives and futures,” said Pierre Ferrari, Heifer’s CEO. “We are all responsible for solving hunger, and working together. With our proven holistic model and Elanco’s clear passion for farmers and animals, we are showing that we can do this.”