Fighting unaffordable nutrition: DSM partners with WFP to scale up rice fortification
24 May 2022 --- Royal DSM is extending its partnership with the World Food Programme (WFP) in a bid to improve the availability and accessibility of nutritious foods. The collaboration will see the scale-up of rice fortification across the globe for three more years.
“If food fails, everything else fails. This partnership is an opportunity to further combine the strengths of DSM and the WFP, to make a difference to the millions of people whose lives are affected by the lack of good nutrition,” Geraldine Matchett and Dimitri de Vreeze, DSM co-CEOs, comment.
Research by the Global Alliance for Improved Nutrition has flagged that rising food prices mean that millions of people will not be able to afford nutrient-rich foods.
Fortified rice for global nutrition
As part of the partnership, DSM offers the WFP its technical and scientific expertise in nutrition, quality assurance and marketing, as well as its financial assistance, to improve the availability and affordability of fortified, nutritious foods for people in need.
DSM and WFP began working together in 2007. By providing nutritious products, the partnership reaches 35 million people per year, DSM notes. The company has previously flagged how fortified rice can help support global nutrition, as one of the most effective, safe and cost-efficient solutions for malnutrition, particularly in staple foods that make up the majority of global diets.
“With rates of hunger skyrocketing around the world, partnerships like the one with DSM are critical because they help the WFP reach millions of vulnerable people with the nutrition they need to survive – and thrive,” says David Beasley, WFP executive director.
In Bangladesh, the partnership has supported more than 70 small and medium enterprises in building their capacity to produce fortified rice, which looks, cooks, and tastes just like ordinary rice but includes essential vitamins and minerals that help curb micronutrient deficiencies, the company adds.
“This initiative has directly benefited local food producers and processors and resulted in more than 7 million people in the country now having access to fortified rice through social safety nets.”
Transforming food systems
DSM and the WFP are working together to drive food systems’ transformation, supporting local food companies and value chains in developing countries to deliver more affordable fortified nutritious food options to people in their communities.
In 2021, DSM launched specific and measurable food systems commitments, which include a target to help close the micronutrient gap of 800 million people by 2030.
“The DSM-WFP partnership will play a vital role in contributing to this aim by strengthening sustainable food systems and improving resilience by increasing access to, demand for, and consumption of more nutritious foods – particularly among the most vulnerable,” DSM underscores.
As the war in Ukraine threatens global malnutrition, experts have called on governments and donors to step up and concentrate on critical nutritional investments.
“During 15 years of collaboration, the two organizations have helped fight nutritional deficiencies which caps the potential of 2 billion people around the world, crippling their growth and threatening lives,” the company underscores.
Earlier this month, DSM, UNICEF and nutrition think tank Sight and Life revealed an extension of their partnership to address malnutrition on a global scale.
Edited by Andria Kades
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