The World Bank Institute and the Global Alliance for Improved Nutrition are promoting investment in addressing malnutrition. They believe technological advances in recent years have helped to make food fortification one of the easiest and fastest ways to improve people's lives on a large scale and to accelerate development. And companies from industrialised and emerging market countries such as Unilever, Tetra Pak, Suneor, and Procter & Gamble agree.
At a jointly held global forum in New Delhi recently, Chinese, Indian, African, European, and North American businesses highlighted examples of innovative ways to produce and market better fortified products for poor consumers. The goal: tackle malnutrition and protect consumers from micro-nutrient deficiencies.
"I am interested in importing this technology to Bangladesh," said Rauf Chowdhury, Chairman of the MARC Group in Dhaka, while examining fortified wheat flakes and cereals from Nirmal, a Maharashtra-based manufacturer that produces food supplements for U.N. agencies and government school feeding programs.
Business Models for Food Fortification
"This is a unique opportunity to learn what other businesses are doing in the area of food fortification based on sustainable business models,"said an African businessman while tasting fortified Chinese cereals and soy sauce.
He then discussed with Tetra Pak representatives their integrated value chain model: food production, food processing, food distribution, and feeding programs. Tetra Pak supports government school feeding programs using fortified milk in China, Iran, West Bank Gaza, and Nigeria using fortified milk.
In another corner, Chinese representatives inquired about the process that made fortification of three key staple foods in Nigeria mandatory and what role the Development Bank of Southern Africa was playing in food fortification for development.
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