Nutrition is very topical at present as the new Global Nutrition for Growth Compact signed on 8 June, 2013, commits to improve nutrition for 500 million pregnant women and young children by 2020. An estimated six hundred million people in less developed countries are at risk of not getting sufficient nutritious food, and as a result their productivity, health, and life expectancy are jeopardized. In Africa and Asia, malnutrition is the most important risk factor for illness and death, with hundreds of millions of pregnant women and young children most vulnerable. With the price of food continually rising, people’s food purchasing power is decreasing, and often the nutritional choices are dropped first.
Traditionally, nutritional interventions have been in response to an emergency, and focused on the diversification of diet, intake supplementation, and the fortification of food at late stages of production. However, new approaches have recognized the potential for collaboration across multiple actors, and combined interventions are moving to the forefront of the political agenda. Integrated responses which address nutrition issues in addition to targeting agriculture and health requirements have the potential to improve nutrition as part of wider development goals. Opportunities to tie in with private sector partners are considerable given that the majority of food is delivered through the marketplace; multi-national corporations such as Unilever and Coca-Cola are increasingly adapting their products to enhance nutritional benefits,3 so targeting new consumers at the base of the pyramid. Creating links with cross-sector partners, working throughout the supply chain and across multiple development areas is where Accenture Development Partnerships can deliver real value. Focusing on a holistic, system-wide response from pre-growing through to processing, transport and marketing, our teams bring key capabilities in innovation and organizational strengthening via: • Integrated program management • Solution design and delivery • Value chain analysis • Assessment and design of new business, distribution and financial models • Behavior change and education Defining Global Alliance for Improved Nutrition’s (GAIN) Strategic Framework GAIN’s Agriculture-Nutrition Initiative focuses on interventions to improve nutritional quality of agricultural products through market-based interventions along the agricultural value chain, and access to those products. It achieves this through working with and supporting agriculture and nutrition programs and enterprises on a local, national and international scale.