The food industry challenged to do more to help all Indians eat nutritious foods and healthy diets
The Access to Nutrition Initiative (ATNI) has recently announced that it is publishing in-depth thematic results and analysis on food companies’ contributions to better nutrition as part of the India Spotlight Index 2020.
The Index assesses India’s 16 largest food and beverage manufacturers’ nutrition-related commitments, practices, and disclosure. The key findings published last year revealed that food companies in India show their commitment to provide healthy food, and to support the Poshan Abhiyaan mission and the Eat Right Movement.
However, current industry efforts are not sufficient to match the scale of the nutrition challenge that the country faces, and companies can and should do more.
ATNI has published the results and analysis of how the companies deal with nutrition beyond the nutritional quality of products, focusing on the following topics: Governance, Accessibility, Marketing, Employee and Consumer Lifestyles, Labeling and Engagement. The chapters also include an impression of how companies are dealing with the effects of the Covid-19 pandemic.
The detailed findings published on ATNI’s interactive website are the results of research and analysis conducted in 2019-2020. The context has changed significantly after the start of the research with the onset of the Covid-19 pandemic as food systems and families struggle to adapt to unprecedented circumstances.
ATNI hopes that the findings and recommendations published can guide companies, encouraging them to improve their nutrition practices and to provide accessible and affordable healthy food to all.
Some of the specific findings from the analysis published:
It is essential that India’s leading food and beverage companies focus more than ever on healthy diets and good nutrition during crises.
Products (previously published 2020)
Product fortification should be further intensified and efforts to ensure such products reach those who need them increased, as recommended by FSSAI.
Accessibility and affordability of healthy food
In India, food and nutrition security for the poor deserves special attention, particularly amidst the COVID-19 pandemic.
Healthy eating and lifestyles of employees and consumers
Indian food companies prioritized the health and safety of their employees during the COVID-19 crisis. Protecting support to breastfeeding working mothers should be part of that strategy.