Continuing to Invest in Haiti – New Machinery Coming to MFK Factory

What is the “First 1,000 Days”? The 1,000 days between a woman’s pregnancy and her child’s 2nd birthday is a critical nutritional period for brain development and health for the rest of one’s life. Poor nutrition in this time period can result in not reaching one’s intellectual potential, short stature, renal failure, obesity, diabetes, heart attacks, and strokes at an early age. In an effort to understand how best to supplement pregnant and nursing mothers during the “First 1,000 Days,” MFK launched a small pilot project. We learned that with the correct machinery and adequate positive margins generated by increased sales, MFK could manufacture and donate RUTF products targeted at addressing the needs of pregnant women and children within the “First 1,000 Days.”

(Featured from Left to Right: Tim Nehrt and Brent Hammett, Icon Mechnical; volunteer engineer David Harmann)

With a grant from the American Peanut Council in summer 2016, MFK hired a food processing engineer from Burns & McDonnell, a multinational engineering company, who spent four days at MFK’s factory. During this time, we learned that a new line of machinery will triple MFK’s manufacturing capability with a limited increase in overhead costs. This will allow MFK to lower its prices to UNICEF which will in turn promote MFK’s long term sustainability.

MFK spent a large portion of 2017 researching and soliciting bids for the new equipment. We are pleased to announce that the machinery was ordered in the summer of 2017, and will be coming to the MFK factory early this year. This was also made possible by generous funding from Nutra Blend and the animal agriculture industry. A team of engineers arrived at MFK’s factory on January 9th, and spent a week surveying the factory to finalize the design, construction, and placement of the new machinery.   Our factory maintenance manager will also be traveling to Nutriset headquarters in France to receive training on the new equipment.

We are extremely excited for such an incredible opportunity to continue our commitment to addressing malnutrition in Haiti, but to also specifically address the “First 1,000 Days.” Evidence shows that the right nutrition in this critical window of time saves more than 1 million lives each year reduces the risk for developing diseases like diabetes, and increases a country’s GDP by as much as 11 percent over a year. Stay tuned for more to come!

(Featured from Left to Right: Chris Greene, MFK Chief Operating Officer; David Harmann, volunteer engineer; Rich Vaughn, The Harlan Company; Pat Wolff, MFK Founder & Executive Director; Scott Smith, The Harlan Company; John Harlan, Jr., The Harlan Company; Henrietta Cho, MFK Engineering Fellow; Kellie Grigg, MFK Finance Fellow)