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Nutrition business monitor: a new self assessment tool for SMEs

  |   SUN Business Network, SUN Country Network

This article was originally published by the Access to Nutrition Initiative

Together with the Global Alliance for Improved Nutrition (GAIN) and the Access to Nutrition Initiative (ATNI), the SUN Business Network has started to develop a voluntary self-assessment tool for small and medium enterprises (SMEs) to review where they stand in terms of nutritional policies and practices. The SUN Business Network and ATNI believe that SMEs have an important role to play in making nutritious food accessible and affordable to consumers. The tool will be piloted in both Nigeria and Bangladesh across the next 3 years.

With the tool, businesses will be able to assess their performance in increasing the availability and affordability of food and beverage products with high nutritional quality. An online platform will be used for data collection to automate recommendations, generate a scoring and inform companies on how to improve their performances on nutrition to the benefit of consumers at a country level.

Along with piloting the tool, various elements of capacity building are incorporated into the project for the companies who decide to participate. The project started with country visits, where ATNI was able to do stakeholder consultations, and in turn understand the business environment for SMEs in the food and beverage sector in both Nigeria and Bangladesh, as well as identify companies that are interested in participating in the pilot phase of the tool.

In June 2019, ATNI held roundtables with CSOs, policymakers, and companies in Nigeria and in August 2019, ATNI repeated the same roundtables in Bangladesh. The roundtables were co-organised by GAIN and the local SBN networks. ATNI is aiming to develop the tool by the end of 2019 and start the pilot phase in January 2020.

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