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Beacons for exploring uncharted nutrition territory: together for nutrition short course

  |   SUN Business Network

By Lawrence Haddad, Executive Director, GAIN and Myriam Sidibe, Senior fellow, Mossavar Rahmani Centre for Business and Government, Harvard Kennedy School

The Global Alliance for Improved Nutrition (GAIN) co-led a 5 day Executive Short Course entitled “Together for Nutrition: Public-Private engagement to improve the consumption of nutritious food”.  The course, the first of its kind, was made available by the 6 funders who together support GAIN’s Making Markets Work for Nutritious Foods programme.

Selected from a pool of 130 applicants, we spent the week with 26 participants drawn 50/50 from the public and private sectors. The course was hosted at the Graduate Institute in Geneva.

On Day 1, we learned together about malnutrition (nature, distribution, causes and consequences), the role of business in nutrition and why public private engagements have been so limited to date. On Day 2 we learned about demand creation—why we need to do it and some examples of how it has been successfully done.  On Day 3 it was all about business models to make more nutritious food available at an affordable price with 7 case studies from multinationals, social enterprises and small and medium enterprises (SMEs). On Day 4 we tackled the Enabling Environment (policy and finance) as well as Conflict of Interest.  On Day 5 we talked about assessing impact and then had our 5 groups present their hands -on real life country specific week long projects for a public-private engagement to improve the consumption of nutritious food to a Dragon’s Den team of 3 external leaders in nutrition.

We had several senior nutrition leaders present at two of our dinners (from the public and private sectors) including World Food Prize Winner David NabarroDiane Holdorf from the World Business Council for Sustainable Development, Gerda Verburg, SUN Movement Coordinator, and Imad Farhat, Vice President of Taste Innovation at Firmenich. The participants had the chance to spend one evening hosted by the Chefs’ Manifesto (a movement of Chefs committed to reaching SDG2) at la Ferme du Bude and got to taste a “Future 50 Foods” dinner composed of a 3 course meal made from 50 of the most sustainable and environmentally friendly crops and vegetables for the planet.

The participants were brilliant. They were incredibly diverse in terms of geography, seniority and public/private experience and all are committed to being beacons as and for a new set of explorers in the largely undiscovered territory of advancing nutrition through public private engagements.

Read the full article in GAIN website: 

• Beacons for exploring uncharted nutrition territory: a debrief of the first annual Together for Nutrition Short Course


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