2021 is a critical year for the The Consumer Goods Forum’s (CGF) Collaboration for Healthier Lives (CHL) Coalition to drive their agenda to support healthier consumers globally. It marks the halfway point in the United Nations (UN) Decade of Action on Nutrition, as the world prepares for the UN Food Systems Summit (UNFSS) in September and the Nutrition for Growth Summit at the end of the year.
Co-founded by the CGF and the Global Alliance for Improved Nutrition (GAIN), the Workforce Nutrition Alliance supported the organisation of a UNFSS Pre-Summit Affiliated Session on 27 July, under the theme “Access to Nutrition Through the Workplace: Leveraging the Private Sector”. The Alliance works to bring access to and knowledge about healthy nutrition to +3 million employees, as well as their families, in member organisations and supply chains by 2025.
The UNFSS Pre-Summit Affiliated Session, hosted by the Government of Bangladesh Ministry of Labour and Employment and GAIN, brought together leaders from government, civil society, the private sector and non-governmental organisations, to explore the key role of workforce nutrition programmes in addressing global malnutrition. It highlighted ways in which these programmes can be enhanced, as well as the need for urgent increased private sector nutrition commitments and accelerated action to drive impact at scale.
Workforce nutrition is considered as a game-changer tool by the 2021 edition of the UNFSS to achieve Sustainable Development Goals 2.1 and 2.2, ending hunger and all forms of malnutrition. The Pre-Summit Affiliated Session marked a key opportunity to foster critical multi-stakeholder discussions on this global challenge.
The CGF’s Managing Director, Wai-Chan Chan, joined the panel to give insights into the Workforce Nutrition Alliance’s work, and to share the private sector perspective on global malnutrition. In highlighting the business case and the urgency to take action, Wai-Chan shared that investing in workforce nutrition is not only the responsible thing for employers to do, it also leads to healthier business. As today’s consumer goods retailers and brands are important employers within communities around the world, he urged CGF member companies to make commitments to adopt workforce nutrition programmes to drive healthier lives and businesses – and to create a better world.
In addition, keynote speakers from the Bangladesh Ministry of Labour and Employment, GAIN, UN, Scaling Up Nutrition Movement, International Labour Organisation, World Business Council for Sustainable Development, Olam International Ltd, Unilever, and Alive & Thrive, shared their respective perspectives on the what, the why and the how on global malnutrition, private sector engagement, and creating an enabling environment for workforce nutrition.
The event closed with key outcome highlights on the business case, and a call to action for all employers to ask themselves what more they can do, and to commit to amplifying their efforts to drive better nutrition in the workplace.