When it comes to finding scope for private-sector involvement in humanitarian action, Peter Bakker knows a thing or two. As former CEO of global transport giant TNT, he spearheaded an eight-year partnership with WFP which has contributed money, skills and precious logistics support to the fight against hunger.
“I look forward to seeing WFP continue to build partnerships with the private sector because in that combination there is true power and lots of motivation,” he says.
It was Bakker himself who approached WFP in 2002 with the idea of a partnership. As he pointed out, it was a natural fit. WFP delivers millions of tons of food to people in 70 countries around the world each year. TNT is a commercial transport and logistics company serving more than 200 countries and employing around 161,500 people.
Support to WFP
The rest is history. Since 2003, TNT has given $83 million worth of support to WFP, including cash, in-kind contributions such as air lifts, and the deployment of expert staff to the field to help streamline food transport operations.
The company has deployed 12 airplanes to delivery emergency food in Haiti, Pakistan and Philippines, and 67 TNT staff have been trained to perform highly-qualified tasks within the Logistics Emergency Team.
Meanwhile, TNT’s employees around the world have raised $22 million for school feeding all on their own steam, in hundreds of creative ways – through sponsored events such as “Walk the World”, bake sales, producing a cookbook and sponsored fun-runs.
Bakker says the partnership between WFP and TNT has energized his employees and increased loyalty. It has also served to attract creative and dedicated people to TNT. They want to work for a company that was involved in corporate social responsibility even before the term “CSR” was invented.
"As a business leader and CEO at TNT, Peter Bakker has been a tireless campaigner for the world’s hungry," said WFP Executive Director Josette Sheeran as she named him a WFP Ambassador Against Hunger at Davos in 2011.
"He has set a gold standard that others have followed, demonstrating the transformational power of partnerships between the private sector and the humanitarian world,” she added.