Launch of the Scaling Up Nutrition (SUN) Business Network. December 2012. 

Building Business Platforms to Catalyze Action and Impact for Nutrition

By Matt Freeman, Senior Manager, Investment and Partnerships. Global Alliance for Improved Nutrition (GAIN)

Building Business Platforms to Catalyze Action and Impact for Nutrition

In London last Saturday, the global community came together to catalyze action around the Nutrition for Growth (N4G) Summit. Since UK Prime Minister Cameron pushed for a multi-stakeholder approach to tackling malnutrition at the Olympic Hunger Event he co-hosted with the Government of Brazil last year, actors from across the public and private sectors have been working hard to build a platform and programs to link business, civil society and government into a global nutrition movement focused on action and impact.

A start was made with more than $4 billion in new funding coming out of that Summit from the public and private sectors, as well as commitments for changes in priorities and policies to promote better nutrition under a new N4G Compact. GAIN is proud to have been part of the planning group which assisted the UK, Brazil and Children’s Investment Fund Foundation (CIFF) to plan the Summit.

SUN Business Network platform. Engaging the private sector in efforts to improve nutrition.

In December, GAIN and the World Food Programme (WFP) launched the Scaling Up Nutrition (SUN) Business Network. This platform has become the mechanism for private sector participation in the SUN Movement, which serves as the catalyst for new investment and new models to support national governments in developing nutrition programs for their countries.

Ertharin Cousin, Executive Director of WFP, announced at the Nutrition for Growth Summit that GAIN and WFP are now working to build a Business Innovation Programme under the SUN Business Network to play an even greater role in enabling multi-stakeholder partnerships for nutrition.

Soon, the SUN Business Network will become not only a platform for dialogue, but also a tool for brokering new partnerships, for providing technical assistance to businesses and national governments to strengthen program delivery, and for developing, documenting and sharing new evidence on what partnership models work. The N4G Compact identifies the SUN Business Network as a major vehicle to engage the private sector in support.

Launch of the Scaling Up Nutrition (SUN) Business Network. December 2012.

Business Platform for Nutrition Research. Addressing unanswered questions in global malnutrition.

GAIN also announced what we hope will be a breakthrough initiative to use private sector research to tackle undernutrition. GAIN has led a process to kick start the design of a platform to allow companies to share in the cost of new nutrition research and development. This Business Platform for Nutrition Research, announced by Unilever CEO Paul Polman in the closing ceremony of the Nutrition for Growth Summit, is a commitment by 10 of the world’s largest companies to design and launch a platform for pre-competitive research for nutrition. We will come together with many of these companies and others at the UN General Assembly in September to formally launch the platform and the specific streams of research it will undertake.

As the statement says, we hope this Business Platform for Nutrition Research will address some of the many unanswered questions in global malnutrition and catalyze new investment into products, tools and technologies that promote healthy, nutritious and affordable solutions for consumers at all income levels.

We are excited about the progress we’ve made and believe that the next several months offer a tremendous opportunity to lock in these gains and ensure they lead us to a bright future for nutrition. If we all work together, we can make this happen.

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