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Food and Refreshment businesses top Access to Nutrition Index

Unilever has been ranked as the world’s best food manufacturer for our approach to nutrition in the 2016 Global Access to Nutrition Index.

Tackling obesity and undernutrition

Unilever’s Food and Refreshment businesses have topped the 2016 Access to Nutrition Index (ATNI) – a study that compares the nutrition-related policies, practices and performance of the world’s 22 largest food and beverage manufacturers. The aim of the ATNI is to encourage companies to increase access to nutritious products and exercise their influence on consumer choice and behaviour responsibly. Its ultimate goal is to facilitate improved diets and a reduction in the serious global problems of both obesity and undernutrition.

Praise for our targets, standards and programmes

We achieved the highest score in the Products and Nutrition Labelling sections of the survey, with the judges praising the global scale and strength of the nutrition targets in our Sustainable Living Plan, which range from product reformulation to labelling, as well as our robust nutrition standards and responsible marketing policy. Our nutrition strategy focuses on delivering products to help people achieve better diets and lifestyles.

We also won acclaim for our Shakti programme which trains and equips women in rural communities to spread health and hygiene messages, and sell affordable products to low-income families.

Important recognition

Food and health have never been so important to consumers. A recent report on global nutrition highlighted that the problems of obesity and undernutrition are not being addressed fast enough, with some academics and policy-makers suggesting the food industry should play a more central role. It is important, therefore, that an independent authority like ATNI is publicly recognising companies that apply best practice.

Providing healthy, nutritious food

Almost 2 billion people worldwide are overweight, 2 billion do not receive enough micronutrients for health and 800 million people go to bed hungry every night. At the same time the desire for healthy, nutritious food has never been stronger.

“We are extremely pleased to receive this independent recognition of our efforts to improve nutrition,” says Amanda Sourry, President of Unilever’s Foods category. “We recognise more hard work is needed to embed nutrition in our global ambition ‘to make sustainable living commonplace’.”

The Access to Nutrition Foundation

The Global Index is published every two years by the Access to Nutrition Foundation, an independent non-profit organisation dedicated to assessing and improving the contribution of the food industry to nutrition. It is highly regarded by a wide range of stakeholders, including the World Health Organization, and is funded by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, the Wellcome Trust and the Children’s Investment Fund Foundation. It is used by investment firms to guide investors on which food companies to select for their portfolios.

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