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Originally published Tuesday, January 19, 2010 at 11:09 PM

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Gates Foundation funds effort to add African farmers to Coke's supply chain

Farmers in Africa will produce fruit for juices made by Coca-Cola in a new project funded with a $7.5 million grant from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.

Seattle Times business reporter

Farmers in Africa will produce fruit for juices made by Coca-Cola in a new project funded with a $7.5 million grant from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.

The project aims to bring 50,000 farmers in Kenya and Uganda into Coca-Cola's supply chain for the first time and to double their incomes by 2014.

It also aims to help the company find sources to meet increasing demand for locally produced juices.

The four-year, $11.5 million partnership includes a $3 million contribution by Coca-Cola and $1 million from its bottling partner Coca-Cola Sabco.

The Gates grant will go to TechnoServe, a U.S.-based nonprofit, to train mango and passion-fruit farmers to improve quality and increase production and to provide farmers with credit.

Kristi Heim: 206-464-2718 or kheim@seattletimes.com

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