DSM to contribute to new 2020 global nutrition target
Feike Sijbesma, Chief Executive Officer, DSM said: “As the world’s leading producer of micronutrients including vitamins, DSM is taking its responsibility to help solve the world’s greatest solvable problem: malnutrition, affecting 2 billion people across the globe. With our plans to reach 50 million beneficiaries by 2020 we fully support the Global Nutrition for Growth Compact. We believe investing in nutrition can break the cycle of poverty and build thriving societies and markets. I am proud DSM and its 23,500 employees are able to help tackle malnutrition using our knowledge and expertise through public-private partnerships.”
Global Nutrition for Growth Compact
The Global Nutrition for Growth Compact, initiated by the governments of the United Kingdom and Brazil and the Children’s Investment Fund Foundation, calls for urgent action to end the scourge of malnutrition with ambitious targets and commitments. Addressing nutrition is of critical importance for achieving the United Nations Millennium Development Goals. As a first step, by 2020, signatories to the Compact commit to ensure that at least 500 million pregnant women and children under two are reached with effective nutrition interventions.
As part of the Compact, which was unveiled today in the presence of UK Prime Minister David Cameron, Brazil Vice-President Michel Temer, heads of state and other dignitaries as well as representatives of business, science, philanthropy and civil society, business signatories committed to putting good nutrition at the core of business practice. As a first step, they will support the productivity and health of their workforces by introducing a nutrition policy and improving policies for maternal health, including support for breastfeeding mothers. Some businesses will also take further steps by improving the nutrition delivered by food systems so that mothers and children have access to the affordable, nutritious foods they need.
The DSM commitment
DSM plans to help provide effective nutrition interventions to 50 million beneficiaries (pregnant and lactating woman and children under two) per year by 2020. DSM expects to reach these beneficiaries through its existing public-private partnerships, such as with the World Food Programme, Vitamin Angels and World Vision International as well as advocacy and using its sphere of influence. Earlier this year DSM and WFP announced their intention to increase the number of people who benefit from their work together to 25-30 million per year by 2015, compared to around 15 million today.
In addition, DSM is also offering signatories to the Compact access to its leading nutritional products and solutions for staple food fortification and nutritional supplements, to help ensure the overall target is met.
DSM also plans to assist Compact signatories in defining or enhancing a corporate nutrition policy focusing on healthy, balanced diets and the promotion of breast feeding policies, including nutrition audits to measure the quality of fortified foods and the effectiveness of interventions. DSM will also work to define a supplier and community outreach program to advocate the Nutrition for Growth agenda and explore the supply of its nutrition products through these channels.
Through its Nutrition Improvement Program, DSM already contributes technical expertise to support public-private partnerships with the World Food Programme, World Vision, Project Laser Beam, Partners in Food Solutions, GAIN, Vitamin Angels and the Amsterdam Initiative against Malnutrition. DSM’s own humanitarian think tank Sight and Life provides nutrition science and evidence-based advocacy.
The hard facts of malnutrition
An estimated 2 billion people globally suffer from the effects of micronutrient deficiencies, in that they don’t receive the necessary levels of vitamins and minerals that allow them to develop to their full mental and physical potential. Across the world, 1 in 4 children under 5 years of age are stunted. Evidence shows that getting the right nutrients at the right time is critical, particularly during the first 1000 days from pregnancy to the child’s second birthday; good nutrition is a prerequisite for physical, mental and social development.
Failure to obtain optimum nutrition not only negatively impacts the life chances of children and their mothers, it prevents them, their communities and their countries from achieving their full economic potential. Malnutrition is responsible for the loss of billions of dollars in productivity, in effect stunting not only citizens, but also economies. It is estimated that 11% of GDP in Africa and Asia is lost to malnutrition every year, with productivity losses to individuals estimated at more than 10% of lifetime earnings.
Good nutrition is an important requirement for physical and mental development, and a key factor for unlocking the human potential in every man, woman and child. The elimination of malnutrition is a global responsibility that DSM supports wholeheartedly as part of its mission to create brighter lives for people today and generations to come. DSM’s core value, contributing to a more sustainable world, supports this mission.