Quarterly Update: SUN Business Network Q3 2016
SUN Business Network at the global level
Advisory Group Meeting
The SUN Business Network (SBN) Advisory Group held its sixth meeting on the margins of the UN General Assembly in New York City, 20th September. The meeting was attended by Advisory Group (AG) co-chairs Feike Sijbesma, CEO of Royal Dutch DSM and Axton Salim, Director of Indofood, as well as other key AG members including Monica Musonda, CEO and Founder of Java Foods, and new SUN Movement Coordinator Gerda Verburg.
SBN Manager, Jonathan Tench provided updates on the network’s progress at country level, in addition to key challenges the network faces and the support required from the growing number of national SBNs. Jonathan also presented a proposal to establish a virtual SBN Responsible Marketing Academy that can support national SBN requests by providing advice and recommendations for responsible marketing and consumer insights.
Members of the Advisory Group were asked to present how they can support the SBN to meet these challenges, with each member outlining a unique offering to national SBNs given their respective networks and competencies. Members also reflected on the need to diversify local companies and partners, working together to boost consumer demand for nutritious foods, and stressed that partnership facilitation and policy and regulatory changes that support effective private sector actions for nutrition are critical.
SUN Movement Lead Group
Fieke Sijbesma and Monica Musonda have joined the SUN Movement Lead Group in which they will be promoting the SBN:
SUN Business Network at the country level
On 13th October, the European Union Delegation and World Food Programme hosted a business leaders networking cocktail night to launch the SBN in Laos, our 13th SBN country. A Lao-based SBN could potentially include a wide range of private sector businesses covering multiple stakeholders ranging from manufacturing, tourism and hotels, banking, mining, and other sectors.
As part of the ‘Consumer Awareness & Demand Creation’ workstream, SBN Nigeria held a half day workshop in July on the use of market research and consumer insight to drive business action on nutrition in the country. Private sector attendees were taught how to use market research and insights to deliver better nutrition through business solutions to malnutrition, using case studies and work groups. SBN Nigeria aims to convene business members in late September to develop further the action plan for the workstream.
SBN Tanzania held two workshops over the last three months to disseminate findings from research undertaken by AC Nielsen on consumer’s awareness and understanding of food fortification in the country. Research points to a low understanding of food fortification and awareness of the country’s food fortification logo. SBN Tanzania will work with the private sector to raise awareness of fortified foods amongst consumers as part of its food fortification workstream.
SBN Zambia is working with Government, academia, NGOs and the private sector to develop a ‘Good Nutrition Logo’ to help consumers identify healthier food and beverage options. An initial workshop was held in August to agree how the logo should be used and the products it should cover. Further workshops are in plan to determine product criteria and how to incorporate the need to address the double burden of malnutrition.
Other SBN country activities
The SBN Global team received the findings of the two regional consultancies in Asia and West Africa and is now sharing the findings with the relevant SUN countries to identify next steps on establishing SBNs in the 6 countries of focus. A consultancy is currently underway in Tajikistan to help identify priority areas of focus for a network in the country and develop its strategy. The team continues to develop good practice tools for and consult with countries who wish to establish national business networks.
3rd Dec. or 10th Dec. 2016 (TBC) – Good Nutrition Cook-Off and Food Festival: SBN Zambia will be holding a cook off competition for food manufacturers/producers and consumers. The event will feature a nutritious food expo and cooking contest that promotes healthy food that also tastes good. There will be discussion around foods that contribute to NCDs, as well as the importance of diverse good food that is high in micronutrients in supporting proper development and good health. The event will be open to the public and SBN businesses will be invited to participate in the contest, and also to showcase their nutritious products.