The Hershey Co. has made a new Clinton Global Initiative Commitment to Action, which will also mean more support for its Vivi nutritional supplement.

Under this new Commitment, the company promises to train 7,500 farmers in Ghana on better agronomic practices and to empower them to supply local commercial markets with safe, high-quality peanuts. These locally-grown peanuts will be used to produce Vivi — a peanut-based, vitamin- and mineral-fortified nutritional supplement given to Ghanaian school children.

Hershey will provide capacity building and training for local peanut farmers. Its contributions will include financial and in-kind resources to rehabilitate a local peanut roasting facility and provide training on appropriate roasting techniques.

As part of the Commitment, Hershey has also pledged to use 100 percent locally-sourced peanuts for Vivi by 2018. The company will also establish a premium price for purchasing peanuts as an ingredient for the supplement.

Despite having a long history of producing peanuts, rural Ghanaian farmers lack access to commercial buyers due to quality and food safety issues, says Mike Wege, chief administrative officer, the Hershey Co.

Those issues mean farmers continue to struggle with low incomes.

“By sharing our world class expertise in peanut production, roasting and processing, we hope to increase the quality and safety of Ghana’s peanut supply, improve the livelihoods of its farmers and promote a sustainable supply chain for basic nutrition,” says Wege.

To learn, grow, and succeed in school, children must have access to proper basic nutrition. But in West Africa, that remains a challenge.

Partnering with the Ghana School Feeding Programme and the nonprofit Project Peanut Butter, Hershey produces and distributes the Vivi nutritional supplements at no cost.

The company's newest Commitment to Action will expand its global social purpose to provide children with basic nutrition. It builds on Hershey's existing Energize Learning program, which will help feed 50,000 Ghanaian school children by 2016.

The company's Commitment is part of the Clinton Global Initiative, established in 2005 as part of the Clinton Foundation. It brings together global leaders to create solutions to pressing world challenges. More than 3,200 Commitments to Action have been made by members of the Clinton Global Initiative. These Commitments have improved the lives of more than 430 million people in 180 countries.