2012

  • Winner in business plan competition Social New Venture Competition at University of Chicago Booth School
  • Incorporated as Fortify, a 501 (c)(3) company in Illinois
  • Initial contact with Dr. Wafaie Fawzi,of the Harvard School of Public Health

2013

  • Nancy meets with Nigerian Minister of Agriculture & Rural Development – the Honourable Akin Adesina
  • Develops relationship with the Global Alliance for Improved Nutrition (GAIN)
  • Invited to Honourable Minister Adesina’s office in Nigeria to present case for developing of tomato value chain, with a goal of in-country tomato processing and fortification

2014

  • Minister introduces Fortify to the Dangote Group, owner of Dansa Foods, an importer of tomato paste
  • Ebola, Boko Haram and upcoming Nigerian presidential election disrupt business and politics in Nigeria- forward momentum is lost
  • Tomato Jos, a start-up tomato farming and processing business concept at Harvard Business School incorporates and contacts Fortify for potential collaboration

2015

  • Nancy meets the CEO of Olam International, Sunny Verghese, and presents the case for Olam to add iron to its leading brand of tomato paste - Tasty Tom - distributed in West Africa
  • Nancy meets with USAID’s senior nutrition scientist, Dr. Omar Dary, and presents case for tomato paste as iron delivery food vehicle in Nigeria
  • USAID asks GAIN to conduct study on tomato paste consumption in Nigeria

2016

  • Nancy is contacted by Dr. Adballah Ramadhani Noor,Tanzanian colleague of Dr. Fawzi at Africa Academy for Public Health, who expresses interest in iron fortification in Tanzania
  • Olam’s packaged foods team begins research phase for iron fortification

2017

  • Begin discussions between Harvard School of Public Health, Africa Academy,Tuft’s Freidman School, and GAIN, to work towards country-by-country assessment of iron needs in Africa
  • Olam completes lab trials of the iron fortified tomato mix, and moves onto shelf life testing

2018

  • GAIN releases results of exploration study of potential new food vehicles in Nigeria, as requested by USAID, and confirms widespread consumption of tomato paste
  • Tomato Jos (TJ), World Vegetable Center and Fortify formed an alliance to submit a Concept Note for a USAID/Nigeria matching grant initiative. “Operation Iron Strong” will work to improve the nutritional status of Nigerians, especially women and children, and improve economic stability for families
  • Fortify begins discussions with Nigerian processor to develop an iron fortified product for institutional buyers

2019

  • Olam launches the first-ever iron fortified processed tomato products in West Africa for consumers
  • Nancy and Olam’s Head of Innovation, Kamesh Ellajosyula, invited to high-level meeting in The Hague to contribute to recommendations for private sector contributions to the Tokyo Nutrition for Growth Summit 2020
  • Project Iron Strong advanced in the USAID/Nigeria grant opportunity and is one of final contenders for funding