Photo: Claus Soendergaard

BASF SE – Food Fortification Initiative

By Vicky Dodman, International Programme Manager, Business in the Community

BASF SE – Food Fortification Initiative

BASF works in more than 40 developing countries implementing the Food Fortification Initiative to reduce vitamin and mineral deficiencies in at-risk people.

Social impacts

  • Every year, BASF and its partners improve the lives of more than 600 million people at risk of deficiency in vitamin A and other micronutrients with fortified staple foods.
  • On average, BASF reaches 60 million more people annually as fortification is adopted by an increasing number of food producers and governments worldwide.
  • BASF‘s labs have developed the first global analytical method for vitamin A determination in edible oils. 600+ of the kits have been distributed and users have been trained.

Business impacts

  • Volumes of vitamin A distributed by the Initiative have grown on average 6% each year, thereby outperforming market growth rates.
  • Thanks to Food Fortification, BASF’s vitamin A customer-base was widely diversified beyond multinational customers in OECD countries.
  • The company’s reputation and image, employee motivation, employer branding, reporting and market access have all been improved by the Food Fortification Initiative.
“ Malnourishment is a serious problem in today’s world. Thus, BASF’s Food Fortification Initiative supports programs of international organizations, governments, academia, civil society or private sector geared towards sustainably improving food and nutrition security. ”

– Kurt Bock, Chairman of the Board of Executive Directors

More than two billion people suffer from deficiencies of vitamins and minerals. Globally, 33.3% of children and 15.3% of pregnant women are deficient in vitamin A. Particularly affected are low-income groups without sufficient resources to afford a balanced diet. Such deficiencies have severe consequences: weakening the immune systems of those affected and increasing the risk of infectious diseases and subsequent mortality.

BASF and its partners fortify staple foods that are industrially produced and eaten in high enough quantities by those most at risk of vitamin A deficiency.

The company’s Food Fortification Initiative is a flagship corporate Shared Value initiative that affords BASF the opportunity to address a humanitarian challenge in an economically sustainable way. BASF is engaged in programmes in more than 40 developing countries. These programmes help local food producers, the public sector and civil society to systemically reduce vitamin and mineral deficiencies of people at risk.

BASF aims to combine economic success, social responsibility and environmental protection. Through science and innovation they enable their customers to meet the current and future needs of society. Their products and system solutions contribute to conserving resources, ensuring healthy food and nutrition and helping to improve the quality of life. They have summed up this contribution in their corporate purpose: We create chemistry for a sustainable future.

“Malnourishment is a serious problem in today’s world. Thus, BASF’s Food Fortification Initiative supports programs of international organizations, governments, academia, civil society or private sector geared towards sustainably improving food and nutrition security.”

Editor’s Note:

The Unilever International Award supported by Business Fights Poverty recognises businesses that have positively impacted one or more of the United Nations Millennium Development Goals (MDGs). The Award is part of Business in the Community’s Responsible Business Awards.

The companies awarded a Big Tick in this category have positively impacted over seven million beneficiaries. These companies are helping to eradicate extreme poverty, promote gender equality, support various aspects of the health agenda, and build global partnerships for development between civil society, business and governments. These programmes demonstrate innovation, scale and the potential to be replicated, highlighting the importance of business as a key enabler of the MDGs.

The case studies profiled in this week’s special on Business Fights Poverty provide more detail about the programmes that achieved a Big Tick and those shortlisted for the top accolade. For more information, click here.

This blog was previously published on Business In The Community and is reproduced with permission.

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