Paloma Fernandes

Chief Executive Officer, Cereal Millers Association

Paloma Fernandes is the Chief Executive Officer of the Cereal Millers Association for the past fourteen years. The Cereal Millers is an Association that represents the large-scale grain milling industry comprising of varied wheat, maize, and other cereals millers in Kenya with a reach over 40 million consumers in Kenya. Its membership comprises of 42 of the largest millers in the country and 7 International traders representing more than 40 percent of total industry production capacity for maize and over 90% for wheat.

Paloma represents the Private Sector on Aflatoxin Mitigation in Kenya and is a member of the Aflatoxin Taskforce as well as the NFSSC (National Food Safety Steering Committee) and has been active in programs focusing on reducing aflatoxin in the food chain. The Cereal Millers Association was the first Private Sector partner to self-regulate in the fight against aflatoxins in the East African Region and Paloma has worked with the PACA (Partnership for Aflatoxin Control In Africa) to introduce the concept of self-regulation in the Uganda and Tanzania.

Paloma also works with millers, Government Agencies and Non state actors to ensure that mandatory fortification in Kenya is being observed and followed. Paloma has worked with GAIN to build capacity for her membership. One of the greater successes of Fortification has been the collaboration with Technoserve, where they managed to build capacity for their members through regular mill visits, audits, virtual training sessions. Through collaborations with Technoserve members were able to invest in better equipment for fortification. CMA was also involved with the regulatory agencies to push for the pre-qualification of premix agents in Kenya. Paloma is a member of the National Food Fortification Alliance (NFFA) and represents the private sector on the Alliance.

She is also a member of the steering committee of the Accelerated Value Crop Development (AVCD), Member of the Kenya Cereal Enhancement Programme – KCEP, a member of the Improved Cassava Stakeholder Committee (ICSC), a member of NFFA ( National Food Fortification Alliance) and former Director of the National Biosafety Authority.