Improving nutrition

This work supports the following UN Sustainable Development Goals

  • Zero Hunger
  • Good Health and Wellbeing
  • Partnership For The Goals

Together with our partners

Our partnership approach maximises the impact of our efforts to improve nutrition.

SDGs image

Reforming the food system through partnership

The final Sustainable Development Goal (SDG 17), set by the UN, is called ‘Partnership for the Goals’. This seeks to strengthen global partnerships. It calls on national governments, the international community, civil society, the private sector and others, to all work together.

We agree that cross sectorial and innovative multi-stakeholder partnerships will need to play a crucial role if the world is to achieve the SDGs by 2030 – especially SDG 3 on Improving Health and Well-being.

Unilever will continue working in partnership with other, like-minded organisations, to increase our impact and tailor programmes to country needs. The SDGs show that no one organisation is big enough to reform the food system alone. By working together, however, we can reach more people, helping millions to eat a nutritious diet.

Angelika de Bree, our Global Categories Nutrition Director, Foods, Ice Cream & Beverages

With a growing population with potentially 10 billion people to feed well, on a planet with finite resources, we will need to transform our global food system to deliver high-quality, nutritious diets from sustainable supply chains. As businesses produce, manufacture and sell most of the world’s food, we have a clear role to play in driving this transition through our supply chains, brands and partnerships.

By partnering with multiple stakeholders – whether fellow businesses, civil society, NGOs, academia or governments – we’re able to use our expertise to tackle food system challenges, increase our impact and align action with the SDGs.

Informative table on "together with our partners"

For instance, to help develop science-based targets, technical solutions and policy at both a national and global level, we’re members of the Food and Land Use (FOLU) coalition. This brings together over 30 organisations from academia, government, civil society and business to unlock new models of sustainable nutrition that work for people and the planet.

We also play a leading role in industry-wide, self-regulating initiatives that encourage nutritious diets. For example, the International Food & Beverage Alliance (IFBA), Consumer Goods Forum (CGF), FoodDrinkEurope (FDE), Better Business Bureau (BBB) in North America and Food Industry Asia (FIA).


FReSH spotlight

FReSH: An industry-wide partnership to transform the global food system

Responsible businesses in the food industry have joined together to accelerate food system transformation. Food Reform for Sustainability and Health (FReSH) is a joint project between EAT and the World Business Council for Sustainable Development. It is looking to turn the conventional ‘farm to fork’ approach on its head, by taking a consumer-centric approach to systems change.

Together, members are working to develop, implement and scale business solutions that are aligned with science-based targets. This means we start with the consumer, focusing on the dietary shifts that are needed. We then work back through the food system to determine what we need to grow, where and how. The goal of FReSH is to create nutritious, enjoyable food for all, produced responsibly within planetary boundaries by 2030.

FReSH focuses on four transformational goal areas. Unilever co-leads the ‘Nutrition Secure Supply Chains’ and ‘Dietary Shifts’ workstreams, actively participates in ‘Food Loss and Waste’ and also participates in ‘True Cost’. In 2018, FReSH identified and started developing solutions and pilots in each workstream to be implemented in 2019. For example, the Food Loss and Waste group introduced the Food Loss and Waste Valuation Calculator. In addition, different papers were published on dietary shifts, consumer trends and the true cost of food. And representatives of FReSH participated in events at Davos, UNGA and the Committee on World Food Security.

This has established FReSH as a credible, forward-thinking food value chain project on food system transformation with key stakeholders. With the engagement of such a visionary and unique group of businesses, the food industry can help accelerate transformation.

This work contributes to the UN Sustainable Development Goal

  • Partnership For The Goals)

Tackling undernutrition & championing dietary diversity with our partners

We believe strongly in a partnership approach to tackle nutrition issues locally. For example, in Vietnam we have been working with the National Institute of Nutrition under the Ministry of Health, on the National Strategies for Food Fortification project. Sponsored by the Global Alliance for Improved Nutrition (GAIN), the project aims to support the production of food products with micronutrient supplements at reasonable prices for Vietnamese consumers. Our Knorr Meaty Granules are fortified with Vitamin A, helping to tackle high levels of Vitamin A deficiency in the country.

Working with partners increases our impact by ensuring programmes are locally relevant. In 2015, for example, Knorr launched Force for Good in Nigeria, to help combat iron-deficiency anaemia. With the Wellbeing Foundation of Africa and Nutrition Society of Nigeria, Knorr taught 320,000 teenage girls and mothers to cook nutritiously, with iron-fortified bouillon. Ibadan University found that, following the programme, 41% of participants added green, leafy vegetables to everyday meals. A further 20 million people were reached online and via the media. And in 2018, we launched the programme in Kenya with Christian Aid, reaching over 80,000 teenage girls and women.

In our tea supply chain, we‘ve been working with GAIN, IDH and Solidaridad to improve dietary diversity and incidences of handwashing among tea farmers and their families. Our Seeds of Prosperity behaviour change programme focused on increasing the number of food groups that supply chain workers consumed daily, to improve their intake of essential vitamins and minerals. So far, we have reached over 300,000 people in Kenya, Tanzania and India.

In 2018, we also renewed our membership of Scaling Up Nutrition’s (SUN) Business Network. Through this network, we will look to share behaviour change and reformulation expertise to support SUN members to deliver improved nutrition in developing markets.

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