Yum China Holdings, Inc. (NYSE: YUMC) announced it has completed the inaugural project of its Grow Local Initiative which leverages the Company’s expertise in supply chain management to source and distribute select high-quality agricultural products in China in order to promote the sustainable growth of local economies and improve farmers’ living conditions. Sponsored by Pizza Hut, the initial phase of the project focused on strengthening the burgeoning truffle industry in Yunnan Province.
As a milestone for the Grow Local Yunnan truffle project, Yum China issued one of the first scientific training manuals on sustainable truffle farming in Yunnan that was published by Yunnan University Press, enabling the local government and Agriculture and Rural Affairs Office to provide farmers with much-needed training in Yunnan Province. Collaborating with the Chinese Academy of Sciences, nutrition experts, and an agricultural service company, Yum China also provided in-person training to 860 local farmers between February and September 2018, and made online training courses available for the local community.
“Poverty alleviation is one of the key areas we have been focusing on where we believe our expertise and scale can make the greatest impact. We are in a unique position to leverage our supply chain management capabilities to make a significant contribution to communities across China,” said Joey Wat, CEO of Yum China. “By helping local farmers improve farming techniques and connect to Yum China’s customer base, we are confident that the Grow Local Initiative will help stimulate local economies and support the sustainable expansion of promising agricultural products.”
In April 2018, Pizza Hut launched its new “Truffle Pizza” at over 2,200 stores in China, using Yunnan-grown truffles. In the future, Pizza Hut’s Super App will also be used to offer more quality, specialty agricultural products sourced in China.
“The Grow Local Initiative is helping local Yunnan farmers cultivate high-quality truffles in an environmentally friendly way,” added Joey Wat. “As a leading casual dining brand, Pizza Hut is focused on introducing high-quality ingredients from across the globe to our customers in China and adding delicious, locally sourced products to our menu.”
The Grow Local Initiative is one of many programs that Yum China has initiated in order to give back to local communities and alleviate poverty in China. Over the last decade, Yum China’s flagship One Yuan Donation program, which is designed to improve the health and wellbeing of children living in impoverished regions across China, has raised more than RMB 180 million in donations from over 100 million people. The Company is also facilitating economic development in Yunnan Province by sourcing locally grown coffee beans and vegetables as well as holding a potato charity sale which has helped local farmers sell almost 180 tons of potatoes in less than a year.