Business scales up action to combat global malnutrition
For the first time, the SUN Business Network has created a single business platform to improve nutrition, incorporating commitments made by 28 companies at the Nutrition for Growth Summit (June 2013) co-hosted by G8 President, UK Prime Minister David Cameron, the Government of Brazil and the Children’s Investment Fund Foundation.
The SUN Business Network, co-hosted by the United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) and the Global Alliance for Improved Nutrition (GAIN), forms part of a multi-stakeholder partnership between business, UN agencies, civil society and donors. It will assist 46 countries that are facing high levels of poverty and malnutrition.
"No single organization, no single government can act alone to achieve the goal of ending hunger and global malnutrition,” said Ertharin Cousin, WFP Executive Director. “Working together, we have the ability to establish powerful partnerships that change the global landscape, from one of hunger to one of hope, country-by-country, community-by-community, family-by-family and child-by-child; until no one goes hungry.”
While global companies form its initial backbone, the network aims to involve thousands of local and national companies. Marc Van Ameringen of GAIN said, “This week the SUN Business Network convened 70 stakeholders including 30 Tanzanian companies in Dar es Salaam to look at how they can work with government and civil society in support of Tanzania’s National Nutrition Strategy.” He added, “This type of engagement is going to be fundamental.”
The work of the SUN Business Network will be overseen by an Advisory Group made up of business and including civil society. It will operate under the aegis of the global lead group for SUN that was appointed by UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon.
‘‘As an advisory group of private sector leaders we are committed to expanding membership to 99 global companies by 2015, with each member pledging transparent and accountable commitments to reducing malnutrition,” said Feike Sijbesma, CEO of Royal DSM, and Co-chair of the Advisory Group of the SUN Business Network. “We aim to recruit globally, and include businesses from all sectors as malnutrition has a profound effect on economies. We look forward to reporting further progress as we continue to expand the network.”
The SUN Business Network aims to harness business expertise and apply its strengths and comparative advantages to improve nutrition. The Network works to advance opportunities for the business community to support efforts around agriculture, product development, infrastructure systems, distribution channels, or research and innovation.
"Under-nutrition is a global problem – and it must be a global priority, not only for governments and international partners who work to tackle it, but also for businesses,” said Anthony Lake, UNICEF Executive Director and Chair of the SUN Lead Group. “By contributing its expertise and resources, and by increasing the availability of fortified foods and other products, the private sector is not only doing the right thing, it is doing the practical thing, for helping children reach their full potential strengthens the work force, in turn supporting the long-term growth of nations and corporations alike. I am delighted that Feike Sijbesma will lead this new effort to leverage the power of the private sector to benefit children all over the world.”
Notes to editors:
From today, Business commitments from the Nutrition for Growth (N4G) Compact will be integrated into the SUN Business Network creating one coordinated global platform for business commitments to addressing under nutrition. N4G companies are invited to bring their N4G commitments to SBN – as the forum for accountable and transparent business commitments to the SUN Movement.
Commitments by companies to date include:
- Using mobile technology to reach 3.5 million people with health information about nutrition and nutrition sensitive farming information
- GSK pledged at the N4G summit to provide 400 million albendazole treatments by 2016
- Reaching 6 million people through nutrition sensitive interventions such as improving access to clean water and adequate sanitation and hygiene
- New ways of working with 577,000 smallholder farmers and SMEs to improve the fortification of their produce and improve their access to nutrition sensitive agricultural production
- 79 million nutritious school- meals were distributed in 2012, SBN companies are committed to accounting for the number of nutritious school meals provided each year
- 11 multi-stakeholder partnerships on nutrition
- 13 National companies from Africa and Asia committed to scale up nutrition at the Nutrition for Growth Summit, through investing in new seed technology, fortified products, agricultural production and improved workforce nutrition policies
- In Tanzania on January 15th, 2014, 70 national companies attended the launch of the SUN Business Network in Tanzania, agreeing to look at ways of working with Tanzania’a National Nutrition Strategy to achieve Tanzania’s goals to tackle under nutrition
- The SUN Business Network aims to reach 99 member companies by 2015
The SUN Business Network at the World Economic Forum 2014, Davos
GAIN and WFP will co-host the SUN Business Network nutrition breakfast session at the 2014 World Economic Forum in Davos on Thursday 23 January. Sponsored by GAIN, WFP, DSM and Unilever, the session’s theme is ‘Ending stunting through improving nutrition across the value chain’, chaired by Ertharin Cousin and Marc Van Ameringen in the WFP Tent.
- Follow the conversation on Twitter at #biz4nutrition
- More information about the SUN Movement
- More information on the SUN Business Network
About the SUN Business Network
The SUN Business Network (SBN) aims to harness business expertise and apply its strengths and comparative advantages to improve nutrition. The network works to advance opportunities for the business community to support efforts around agriculture, product development, infrastructure systems, distribution channels, or research and innovation.
The SUN Business Network (SBN) has two primary aims:
- Recruit a broad and diverse membership of food, non-food, multinational and local business to the network. Members will pledge transparent and accountable commitments to scaling up nutrition. This will demonstrate the collective effort of business in scaling up nutrition to the SUN Movement.
- Support SUN countries to engage with business within a multi-stakeholder, country-owned, approach to scaling up nutrition.
The SUN Business Network started with eight companies (Ajinomoto, BASF, Britannia, Cargill, DSM, Nutriset, Unilever and TetraLaval). They pledged to reach 120 million undernourished women and children in developing countries each year, by 2020, with direct and indirect nutrition interventions.
See below for more information on the business commitments to the June 2013 Nutrition for Growth Summit.
Sun Business Network Advisory Group
The SUN Business Network has established an Advisory Group (A/G), comprised of business leaders and civil society that will be able to provide global insight and strategic advice for the network and also oversee the network’s updates to the SUN Lead Group on its progress.
- The Advisory Group for the SUN Business Network will aim to increase the size of the network and the support of the business community to SUN countries
- Members will also act as regional champions for the role of business in partnerships to scale up nutrition and support the recruitment of more businesses to join the network
- WFP Executive Director Ertharin Cousin and GAIN Executive Director Marc Van Ameringen will be ex-officio members of the group
- WFP and GAIN have asked Feike Sijbesma, CEO, Royal DSM to co-chair the Advisory Group, and are looking to appoint a second co-chair from the private sector in a developing country
- Confirmed members include:
Masatoshi Ito, CEO Food & Chemicals company, Ajinomoto, Japan
Marie Konate, CEO, Protein Kissee La, food company, Cote d’Ivoire
Kaiser Kabir, CEO Renata, Pharmaceutical company, Bangladesh
Tom Arnold, Global Hunger Ambassador for Concern Worldwide has joined as a representative of Civil society
Further members from Asia, Africa and Latin America are to be confirmed
About the Scaling Up Nutrition Movement
Scaling Up Nutrition (SUN) is a unique movement founded on the principle that all people have a right to food and good nutrition. Within the SUN Movement, national leaders in 46 developing countries have committed to prioritizing efforts to address malnutrition. These countries are supported by four global networks, Donors, UN Agencies, Civil Society and Business. All four networks operate under the aegis of the SUN Lead Group appointed by UN Secretary General. Visit www.scalingupnutrition.org.