Guided by the belief that every life has equal value, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation works to help all people lead healthy, productive lives. In developing countries, it focuses on improving people's health with vaccines and other life-saving tools and giving them the chance to lift themselves out of hunger and extreme poverty. In the United States, it seeks to significantly improve education so that all young people have the opportunity to reach their full potential. Based in Seattle, Washington, the foundation is led by CEO Jeff Raikes and Co-chair William H. Gates Sr., under the direction of Bill and Melinda Gates and Warren Buffett.
The Coca-Cola Company is proud to partner with the Gates Foundation on several innovative projects. In October 2009, we agreed with the Gates Foundation to undertake a four-year, $11.5 million project in Kenya and Uganda to increase local mango and passion fruit sourcing, benefiting more than 50,000 small farmers, many of them women. The project, which began in January 2010 and is implemented by TechnoServe, works to improve productivity and competitiveness and link farmers to new markets, such as those provided by locally produced TCCC juices, as well as fresh fruit domestic and export markets. As part of this work, the Gates Foundation also contributes to our 5by20 initiative, TCCC's ambitious global initiative to enable the economic empowerment of five million women entrepreneurs across our value chain by 2020.
In 2010, TCCC joined forces with the Gates Foundation and The Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria to improve access to critical medicines in Tanzania through the country's Medical Stores Department (MSD). With the success of the initial project in Tanzania, the partnership has been extended to Ghana. By sharing our supply chain approaches, the partnership is able to address critical bottlenecks in medicine supply chains, resulting in better quality healthcare.
For more information about the Gates Foundation, please view their website.