• Tuesday, July 16, 2024
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Millers for Nutrition initiative launched to accelerate large-scale food fortification

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… Coalition pledges to reach 1bn people with fortified foods by 2026

…leading brands recognised for delivering high-quality fortified foods

To accelerate large-scale food fortification in rice, edible oil, flour, and sugar in Africa’s biggest economy, the Millers for Nutrition initiative has been launched.

The initiative, a cross-sector partnership, with millers at the forefront and industry partners contributing technical expertise and support throughout the food fortification value chain was launched during the 9th Agrofood Nigeria Exhibition and Summit held recently in Lagos.

The initiative aims to ensure that more Nigerians have access to the nutritious food necessary for healthier and more productive lives.

Also, it is dedicated to facilitating the fortification of staple foods and rewarding millers to maintain compliance as the coalition behind the initiative pledges to reach a billion people with adequately fortified staple foods by 2026.

“Millers for Nutrition members in Nigeria epitomize a commitment to fortification excellence and product quality that enhances the lives of consumers,” said Rizwan Yusufali, program director for Millers for Nutrition at TechnoServe.

“By sharing practical tools and expertise from industry leaders, we will enable millers to adopt fortification best practices and turn good fortification into a business advantage.”

The initiative is being implemented across eight countries in Africa and Asia, targeting staples such as rice, edible oil, and flour (wheat and maize).

By incorporating essential vitamins and minerals into their widely consumed products, millers can play a pivotal role in reducing malnutrition and enhancing public health. The coalition will support, enable, and recognise these crucial efforts.

Members of Millers for Nutrition will receive recognition for their efforts through platforms like the MFI Awards and other promotional activities, including events and media coverage.

Also, as fortification quality improves, members will benefit from increased recognition for product quality and industry leadership.

Participating millers who commit to improving the nutritional quality of their food will receive complimentary technical assistance to facilitate fortification.
This includes tailored training, business guidance, product testing support, and access to online tools and resources, ultimately reducing compliance risks and enhancing production efficiency.

“On behalf of millers, we pledge to continue enriching all our brands with necessary vitamins and minerals,” Boye Olusanya, group managing director of Flour Mills of Nigeria.

“Consumers will not only see fortified products but also detailed information on fortification within the products as they continue to purchase and consume them. I encourage millers across the country to join the Millers for Nutrition,” Olusanya added.

Founding partners such as BASF, DSM-Firmenich, Mühlenchemie/SternVitamin, Piramal, BioAnalyt, and Sanku, along with regional and local technical partners like Hexagon Nutrition in India, are joining forces to support millers in specific regions or staple foods.

The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation is providing strategic input and investment to aid in the coalition’s establishment, while TechnoServe, an international nonprofit with extensive experience in industry-led fortification capacity-building efforts, will oversee program activities.

At the launch event, Millers for Nutrition celebrated the winners of the 2024 MFI Awards – recognising those millers and brands leading the charge in fortifying their products with essential vitamins and minerals.

Among this year’s winners were Crown Flour Mills LTD (OLAM), Flour Mills of Nigeria PLC, Raffles Oil LFTZ Enterprises, and Dangote Sugar Refinery Plc. DUFIL Prima Foods and WACOT-Big Bull were also honored as pioneers in rice fortification among others.

Leading figures from the nutrition sector, including Sugra Mahmood, director of nutrition at the Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Food Security, Faniran Sanjo, Food System National conveyor and director of social development at the Ministry of Budget & Economic Planning, and Eva Edwards, director of NAFDAC’s food safety and applied nutrition (FSAN), joined forces with industry leaders at.

“NAFDAC welcomes the launch of Millers for Nutrition in Nigeria and expresses gratitude to TechnoServe, their technical partners, and the Gates Foundation for this commendable initiative,” stated Eva Edwards, director of food safety and applied nutrition at NAFDAC, on behalf of Mojisola Adeyeye, director general.

“We embrace the goal of positively impacting the nutrition of one billion people by 2026 across the eight countries where they operate, including Nigeria.”