Home Countries Europe: Private, public partnership to combat malnutrition, hunger is possible, says DSM

Europe: Private, public partnership to combat malnutrition, hunger is possible, says DSM

picture of happy mother with baby over white

DSM raised the awareness of advancing research into maternal and infant nutrition at the event ‘Activating a Global Research Agenda for Nutrition Science’ on June 16 to 17, 2014 at Wageningen, The Netherlands.

The forum, titled “International Maternal and Child Nutrition: Initiating Research through Multi-stakeholder Collaboration”, focused on the development of detailed proposals for four identified research themes and aimed to encourage public-private partnership to advance nutrition research.

DSM said its contribution will form part of a wider discussion into key topics, namely the health and nutrition of adolescent girls, heterogeneity of response, improved dietary assessment and scaling up nutritional solutions.

At the event, Dr. Manfred Eggersdorfer, the company’s senior VP, nutrition science and advocacy, presented the topic entitled “Interest and contribution of business to key issues in maternal and child nutrition”.

He shared the importance of businesses taking action against malnutrition and working towards a world free from hunger and obesity.

Food News International finds out more from Dr. Eggersdorfer om how food and beverage (F&B) manufacturers can work with stakeholders to address these issues.

FNI: How many attendees were at the forum? Could you share their demographics?

Dr. Eggersdorfer: There were about 150 attendees from 26 countries, with many participants from the European Union and the US, who came from a variety of backgrounds, from academia to civil organizations to the private sector.

It is vital to engage with as many people as possible in order to raise awareness of the importance of advancing research into maternal and infant nutrition, which tis forum has provided the platform for it.

FNI dsm mother infant

FNI: How can F&B manufacturers form meaningful partnerships with public bodies such as government agencies, research institutions and consumer groups?

Dr. Eggersdorfer: Food and beverage manufacturers can use different platforms to form meaningful partnerships with public bodies, for example by attending workshops, seminars and events such as this forum.

Agencies such as the United Nation’s World Food Programme (WFP) work successfully with the private sector in order to improve food quality and fortification across the industry, and they are always eager to develop new partnerships.

Many companies and organizations, such as DSM and Sight and Life, also work closely with food and beverage manufacturers, and take the lead from the strong example that the WFP has set.

They aim to actively explore innovative implementation platforms, where manufacturers can play a vital role in pushing the boundaries and creating products that can help to address malnutrition.

Sight and Life concentrates on initiatives such as food vehicle development using a consumer-first approach; rice fortification technical advice for efficacy trials and programs; as well as an advocacy and communication platform.

FNI: How can F&B manufacturers do their part in reducing hunger in the world?

Dr. Eggersdorfer: F&B manufacturers can play a huge role in reducing hunger in the world, which is by working with nutrient suppliers in order to fortify their goods and add value to existing products.

By tapping into this nutrition knowledge, the products and technologies available today, and then scaling up the solutions, it is possible to develop valuable solutions that can help to combat against malnutrition.

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