Help Solve Malnutrition: Corporate Responsibility

CORPORATIONS CAN HELP SOLVE malnutrition in the Philippines. This was the message of Mario Capanzana, Head of the Food and Nutrition Research Institute (an office under the Department of Science and Technology).

According to Capanzana, the government is not the only body responsible in ensuring that the issue in malnutrition is resolve. This is the responsibility of every person, food companies, NGOs, aid agencies and other sectors of society. Safe and affordable food products should be available to the public, especially for the poorest of the poor.

A nutrition problem

An estimated 3.35 million Filipino children suffering from malnutrition. Capanzana had suggested a three-fold solution:

  1. Aim to produce approximately 251 metric tons per day of complementary food made from protein-rich ingredients;
  2. Invest in an adequate amount of manpower, machine, and materials to produce these food products;
  3. Establish strategically located stations where the food products are distributed, prioritizing the areas that need them the most.

Capanzana also stressed that the diet of many Filipinos is deficient in essential nutrients such as energy, vitamin A, iron, and iodine—a deficiency usually caused by either a lack of knowledge of basic nutrition and/or poverty.

He also encourage the food companies to include fortification in their food products. Fortification is the adding of one or more nutrients, vitamins and mineral into food products. This allows the consumers of these products to get nutrients that they would otherwise lack.

“Sharing best practices with business partners is a paramount way for companies and the government to succeed in increasing economic opportunity and improving the health and nutrition of the public,” Capanzana said.

One food company’s example

Nestlé has been acknowledge for their promotion of good nutritional practices in the country through its various CSV efforts: primarily through the development of food products that are nutritionally beneficial to the public.

Nestlé Philippines’ SVP and Corporate Affairs Head Edith de Leon also pointed out that even before the term CSV was conceptualized, Nestlé has been Creating Shared Value from the time the company was founded about 140 years ago.

Nestlé Philippines with the Asian Development Bank, the Philippine Business for Social Progress and the Asian Institute of Management RVR Center for Social Responsibility, organized the CSV Forum to encourage more companies to embrace the CSV philosophy and become agents of social progress.

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