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"Maintaining and Improving Nutritional Value and Food Safety along the Value Chain Marie T. Ruel International Food Policy Research Institute "


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The International Symposium on Sustainable Food Systems for Healthy Diets and Improved Nutrition was jointly held by FAO and WHO in December 2016 to explore policies and programme options for shaping the food systems in ways that deliver foods for a healthy diet, focusing on concrete country experiences and challenges. This Symposium waas the first large-scale contribution under the UN Decade of Action for Nutrition 2016-2025. This presentation was part of Parallel session 1.2: Maintaining and improving nutritional value and food safety along the value chain"

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"Maintaining and Improving Nutritional Value and Food Safety along the Value Chain Marie T. Ruel International Food Policy Research Institute "

  1. 1. Maintaining and Improving Nutritional Value and Food Safety along the Value Chain Marie T. Ruel International Food Policy Research Institute Photo: Brauw
  2. 2. The Challenges and Opportunities • Persistent problems of malnutrition – 1 in 3 people affected: deficiencies in energy, micronutrients, overweight/obesity • Ambitious SDGs– which require “business as un-usual” • Recognition of need to work multisectorally, but HOW? • Changing pressures on food systems: population and income growth, climate change, urbanization, globalization of diets, competition for natural resources “Food systems are not delivering healthy diets” (Global Panel on Agriculture and Food Systems for Nutrition)
  3. 3. Income Can Help Reduce Stunting 10% increase in GDP leads to 6% reduction in stunting Source: Ruel and Alderman; Lancet 2013
  4. 4. But it Also Increases Ovwt/Obesity Source: Ruel and Alderman; Lancet 2013 10% increase in GDP leads to 7% increase in women’s ovwt/obesity
  5. 5. Food Systems and Diet Quality & Safety Source: Global Panel on Agriculture and Food Systems for Nutrition (2014)
  6. 6. Urbanization Changing age profiles Migration Technology Infrastructure Social networks Traditions Social norms Religion & rituals Social stratification Gender Leadership Livelihoods & Income Markets Trade Natural resource capital Ecosystem services Climate adaptation & resiliency Food Environments Food access (location within environments, physical proximity) Food affordability (point of purchase, willingness to pay) Food acceptability & preferences (branding, cultural and nationalistic preference /standards) Information & guidelines (education, messaging) Composition, quality & safety Nutrition & Health outcomes Political, Programme, and Institutional Actions Economic impacts Social equity impacts Consumer Behaviors Choosing where and what food to acquire, prepare, cook, store and eat Diets Quantity Quality Diversity Safety AVAILABILITY ACCESS UTILIZATION SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT GOALS Environmental impacts Food Systems, Diets and Nutrition Biophysical & Environmental Drivers Innovation & Research Drivers Sociocultural Drivers Political & Economic Drivers Demographic Drivers Retail, marketing & advertising Processing & Packaging Storage, Exchange & Distribution Production Systems Value Chain Processes/ Actors Farmers, agribusiness, land & plantation owners, fisheries, financial entities Transporters, agribusiness, traders Packing plants, food industry, SMEs Retailers, markets, food outlets, distributors, restaurants, wholesalers Source: Jessica Fanzo
  7. 7. Value Chains Can Help Food Systems Deliver on Diets and Nutrition Value chains refer to the full range of activities that are required to bring a food product from conception, through the different phases of production, to delivery to final consumers and disposal after use They are designed to ADD VALUE (usually economic) and can address: Production constraints: processing, storage, information, prices, markets, natural resources, yields  Consumption constraints: preferences, information, affordability/prices They can also address nutrient losses, contamination: aflatoxin, contamination/ spoilage at different stages of VC; identify opportunities to restore/add nutrients /prevent losses
  8. 8. Why Value Chains for Nutrition? • VCs require/promote coordination among multiple actors at all levels (multi-actor/multi-sectoral) - from farm to fork – • VCs are solution-oriented: can be used to identify where changes are needed (e.g. select VC actors can be targeted to increase incentives and capacities for delivering improved nutrition & food safety • VCs focus on adding “ value”: provide opportunities for adding not only economic value along the chain, but also other v for as nutrition, food safety, environmental sustainability • VCs are versatile: can be tailed to address different problems (e.g. malnutrition in all its forms, diets, food safety), contexts, needs, in an integrated way
  9. 9. Inputs into production Food production Food storage and processing Food distribution and transport Food retail and labeling MORE NUTRITIOUS & SAFER FOODS AVAILABLE What Is a Nutrition-Sensitive VC? Nutritious & safe diets consumed Producer – Value Chain Develop, test, evaluate solutions to bottlenecks to enhance nutrition and food safety along the value chain Characterize diets, market access, and constraints to consumption of nutritious and safe foods Develop and test, evaluate solutions to improve knowledge, awareness, and demand for nutritious and safe foods Identify production and market constraints to ensuring nutritious content and safety of food Supply Side Demand Side
  10. 10. Value Chains Come in Many Different Forms Types of value chains Actors Traditional Traditional traders Smallholder farmers Consumers Modern Domestic & multinational manufacturers Commercial farms Modern supermarkets And everything in between!
  11. 11. High demand, weak supply High demand, ample supply Low demand , weak supply Low demand, ample supply Demand Supply + - + Possible interventions: • Improved business and regulatory environment (food safety) • Upgrades in technologies • Improved mechanisms for coordination between chain actors Possible interventions: • Innovation in production technologies • Innovation in the formulation of inputs for production (improved input access?) • Organization of producers to supply higher volumes • Facilitate expansion of market outlets Possible interventions: • Social marketing to stimulate demand • Subsidies for consumption • Adjustments in the regulatory framework • Support for marketing by retailers • Public purchasing programs Possible interventions: • Social marketing to stimulate demand • Subsidies for consumption • Building capacities for primary production • Producer organization • Incentives for risk taking by processers and retailers Typology of VC for Nutrition Interventions Source: Gelli et al. IFPRI DP 2015 - +-
  12. 12. Production Inputs Processing • Seed subsidies • Investment in R&D • Gov’ incentives for diversifying farm production • Scale-up of extension services • Crop insurance • Access to credit • Improved storage facilities • Investment in technology • Improved testing for aflatoxin exposure • Investment in roads and infrstructure • Zoning laws to improve access to healthier foods • Farm-to-school programs • Subsidies for healthier food/taxes on sugar, fat • Improved Food labeling • Bans on advertising for children • Social marketing and other Interventions to improve consumer knowledge and awareness about nutrition, health, food safety • Training of actors along the VC on healthy diets • Mandatory food fortification • Trans fat bans • Salt, sugar targets/standards • Private sector partnerships to improve processed food quality Examples of Points of Intervention along the VC to Address all Forms of Malnutrition Maximize “nutrition entering”; Minimize “nutrition exiting” Source: Downs & Fanzo, 2016 Post Harvest Distribution, marketing, retail Consumption
  13. 13. Women: Key Leverage Point for Improving Nutrition through Agriculture Source: Sundberg, Birx, Ruel; BMGF Learning Session; January 2014 Women’s empowerment, health, nutrition, and time
  14. 14. Progress So Far • On-going work on VCs for nutritious (and safe) foods (e.g. dairy (milk, yogurt), chicken (eggs), vegetables, fruit, pulses); aflatoxin (post-harvest); homegrown school feeding programs, P4P: e.g. CGIAR and partners, FtF, Gender, Agriculture and Assets Project (GAAP), WFP, IFAD, FAO, many NGOs, others • Biofortification: HarvestPlus now in delivery phase • Public/private partnerships around VCs for nutrition: e.g., GAIN Market Place for Nutritious Foods, certification of complementary foods • Policies: e.g., tax on sweetened beverages, fat; legislation to reduce salt, sugar, saturated fat in processed foods
  15. 15. Where do we Go from Here? • Lots of conceptual work on food systems and nutrition, lots of big reports! • Useful guidance documents, on-line courses on multisectoral work, value chains for nutrition/gender/food safety, how to make agriculture and food systems more nutrition-sensitive (FAO, WB, SPRING/USAID, NGOs, etc.) • Emerging new communities of practice, partnerships, networks • Too little credible research, shared learning, documentation and publication of lessons learned on implementation, impact and cost – Is it all worth it?
  16. 16. Key Messages Value chain for nutrition and food safety offer a great opportunity to leverage food systems to reduce malnutrition in all its forms Value chains can help address constraints to supply and intake of healthy foods and help create “an enabling environment for healthier choices” A lot is happening, but learning is too slow and scattered; we need to focus more on strategic implementation, impact and cost-effectiveness research