How can we improve nutrition in people’s diets?
Unilever is addressing malnutrition by fortifying its food products with essential micronutrients, and by promoting proper nutrition through its partnerships with other organisations such as the United Nations World Food Programme (WFP).
According to the 2015 Global Nutrition Report, more than 2 billion people don’t consume enough essential vitamins and minerals – particularly those in developing countries. Micronutrient deficiency can make people vulnerable to disease, and impair their development and quality of life.
Seasonings, spreads, sides, and porridge are some of the products Unilever can fortify with essential vitamins and minerals to improve the health of those who consume them. Its Rama/Blue Band margarines, for example, contain added vitamins A and D, and in some markets include additional vitamins such as B6, B12, folic acid, and niacin. These micronutrients help ensure our bodies function optimally, and are crucial for our health and wellbeing.
Unilever’s leading food brand, Knorr, is on a social mission to improve women’s health in Nigeria, where almost 50% of women of reproductive age and 72% of children under five suffer from anaemia, often caused by iron deficiency. Its behavioural change programme, Green Food Steps, helped over 70,000 mothers and daughters understand the importance of an iron-rich diet. With its ‘Gbemiga’ (‘lift me up’) programme, Knorr is training local women to become entrepreneurs and ambassadors for nutrition.
Since 2007, Unilever’s partnership with the UN’s World Food Programme (WFP) has led to it donating more than USD 32 million towards its initiatives. Knorr has used World Food Day to encourage people to support local food banks and charities, donating three million nutritious school meals via WFP’s Home Grown School Meals initiative.
Unilever recognises that to maximise its impact and effectively address malnutrition at scale, the food industry must partner effectively with governments and NGOs. For example, the Scaling Up Nutrition (SUN) movement is a global cause, uniting 58 countries with donors, civil society, UN partners, and businesses in a collective effort to improve nutrition. It aims to mobilise new action and investment from businesses, including Unilever, in support of SUN’s vision to end malnutrition in all forms.
This story shows how Unilever supports Goal 2: Zero Hunger, specifically Target 2.2: ‘By 2030, end all forms of malnutrition, including achieving, by 2025, the internationally agreed targets on stunting and wasting in children under 5 years of age, and address the nutritional needs of adolescent girls, pregnant and lactating women and older persons.’
Unilever is a global business with a simple but clear purpose: to make sustainable living commonplace. On any given day, 2.5 billion people use Unilever products (spanning more than 400 brands) to feel good, look good, and get more out of life, giving Unilever a unique opportunity to build a brighter future.
Learn more about Unilever, Knorr, and the UN World Food Programme.