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Former TNT Chief Says Fighting Hunger Energizes Staff

Peter Bakker says TNT's partnership with WFP helped attract creative, dedicated people to the company. In this photo he is shown speaking to fellow CEOs in WFP's tent at the World Econmic Forum meeting in Davos (2011).

(Copyright: WFP/Rein Skullerud)

Ex-TNT chief Peter Bakker, who led the way in private-sector partnerships with UN humanitarian agencies, highlights the win-win outcomes that partnering with WFP can offer a company.

ROME -- Peter Bakker, nine-year CEO of global logistics group TNT, told WFP board members gathered for their twice-yearly executive session that he wished for a global staff as passionate as WFP’s.

He also called on the board to set up the right incentives for efficiency. “I’ve noticed sometimes when things get more efficient, contributions decrease, “  he said. “That’s a counter incentive.”

Mr Bakker, who has devoted six months of his post-TNT career to WFP on a pro bono basis, called on other companies to join the fight against hunger, saying it is energizing for employees – and essential  to defeating hunger worldwide.

“I don’t know any other way,” he said.

Spearheading private-sector

Earlier this year, WFP named Bakker one of its Ambassadors Against Hunger, a role which enables him to continue spearheading the involvement of companies in the fight against hunger. (See video top right)

Under his guidance, TNT became WFP’s first private sector partner in 2003, committing its resources to helping the organization tackle the logistics challenge of fighting hunger all over the world.

Since then TNT has given $83 million in support to WFP, including cash, in-kind contributions such as air lifts, staff deployed to the field, advocacy and support at major events like the World Economic Forum in Davos.

Model for UN system

“Peter became a visionary behind WFP’s innovative private-sector initiative, which has been recognized as a model within the UN system,” said WFP Executive Director Josette Sheeran in her remarks to the board.

WFP now has a range of private sector partners providing support in many ways, including developing new nutritional products to providing crucial telecommunications services in emergencies.

There is increasing recognition and support for their role among traditional donors. "The United States recognizes the role the private sector must play if we are to conquer hunger," said Ertharin Cousin, US ambassador to the UN agencies in Rome.

Learn more about WFP private sector partnerships