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Beating malnutrition: 40 global firms join forces at Davos

By Nathan Gray+

22-Jan-2014

SUN: "Under-nutrition is a global problem – and it must be a global priority..."
SUN: "Under-nutrition is a global problem – and it must be a global priority..."

A network of 40 global businesses have come together with a goal of improving the nutrition of 127 million malnourished women and children by 2020.

The SUN (Scaling Up Nutrition) Business Network platform aims to improve nutrition by bringing together commitments made by 28 companies at the Nutrition for Growth Summit.

Announced today at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, the commitments from the Nutrition for Growth (N4G) summit will be integrated into the SUN Business Network - creating a single coordinated global platform for business commitments to addressing under nutrition.

The platform aims to harness business expertise and apply their strengths and comparative advantages to improve nutrition, while also working 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,” commented UNICEF executive director Anthony Lake - who is also 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.”

The work in battling malnutrition will be overseen by an Advisory Group, which will be made up of business and members of civil society - this group will be led by Feike Sijbesma, CEO of Royal DSM, the worlds biggest nutrients supplier.

‘‘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 Sijbesma. “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.” 

Other companies involved in the projects include Ajinomoto, BASF, Britannia, Cargill, Nutriset, Unilever and TetraLaval.

Read more about N4G here .