My colleague, Ian Hope-Johnstone, and I recently contributed to the International Food Policy Research Institute publication, Scaling up in agriculture, rural development, and nutrition – a collection of briefs edited by Johannes Linn of the Brookings Institution that give lessons for scaling up development interventions.

We were proud to be the only private sector company invited to participate and we learned much from the other expert contributors about how they scale up supply chains. I think our perspective of how a company is motivated by the need to provide for consumers, as opposed to doing a development project without the consideration of the market and consumer needs, will resonate with readers.

In our agricultural work our ability to build on success in one region and apply it elsewhere helps us ensure a reliable supply of raw materials that meet cost and quality standards. This ability to scale is important when we expand to new markets and create new products that need a sustainable agricultural supply chain to provide raw material ingredients.

In the article we describe, in more detail, the PepsiCo’s seven steps for scaling up agricultural supply chains, technology transfer, and agronomic education:

  1. Develop a plan for new market entry or demand for new crop procurement
  2. Conduct sourcing survey(s)
  3. Identify key players in government agencies, research groups, or consultancy groups
  4. Initiate pilot trials
  5. Assess existing infrastructure and needs for the business venture
  6. Continually improve
  7. Scale up

We also provide examples about producing local corn supply in Mexico and managing water scarcity in India’s supply chain. Critical in both these examples, and in my view, all agricultural supply chain development, is that sustainability issues were factored in at the start of the project for greatest impact.

Please see the complete article, and let us know what you think!