Workforce Nutrition Alliance Reflection on 2021 Year of Action for Nutrition

Dear Partners and Friends,

As 2021, Year of Action for Nutrition, comes to a close, we are inspired to reflect on the year and what it has meant for workforce nutrition and the Workforce Nutrition Alliance. 

Firstly, we would like to begin with a thank you to all of our Partners and Friends who have joined with us on this journey. Your support and direct action have helped to put the Workforce Nutrition Alliance on the global platform, and to position workforce nutrition as key towards achievement of the global nutrition goals.

It has been an exciting time, but we cannot rest on our laurels yet. There is more work to be done.

The year began with the launch of and the announcement of leading employers coming on board as Lighthouse Leaders – including Olam International with the direct involvement of CEO Sunny Verghese – a true global leader on workforce nutrition. 

Through this online platform, stakeholders can now access a growing array of tools and resources, webinar recordings, news and information, and knowledge from leaders at the forefront of workforce nutrition – as well as information and guidance for commitment making – all designed to increase the number of nutrition commitments on workforce nutrition.

This then led to workforce nutrition being recognised at both the Rome pre-summit of the United Nations Food Systems Summit in July, and the high-level summit itself in New York in September. 

Workforce nutrition – and the Workforce Nutrition Alliance itself – shone even brighter in early December during the Tokyo Nutrition for Growth Summit, and in the official side events, where it was recognised as a valuable mechanism to bring healthy nutrition to millions of people worldwide. 

The announcement by one of the most influential companies – Google – that it had put engagement with the Workforce Nutrition Alliance as its number one global nutrition commitment, was something we could not have imagined at the start of the year.

At these high-profile global events, the Workforce Nutrition Alliance and workforce nutrition were also given high-level recognition by the CEO of Ajinomoto, the CEO of Olam International, the Global Health Director of Johnson & Johnson, the Global Health Director of Unilever, WBCSD, among other leading influencers. Equally important, has been the inclusion of workforce nutrition in leading data benchmarking – including key data launches by the World Benchmarking Alliance and the Access to Nutrition Initiative. 

This growing awareness for workforce nutrition as a key win-win-win driver for employee health, company performance, and economic strength continues to spread to more and more audiences. 

With this growing interest, the Workforce Nutrition Alliance launched its first in a series of Technical Support Programmes, designed to guide a company in the development and implementation of their own workforce nutrition programme. No less than 20 companies reaching more than 30,000 workers are now taking part in the sold-out inaugural programme that launched in October, and a second more advanced session is set to launch in January. 

The Workforce Nutrition Alliance also held a growing number of learning webinars to support capacity building of employers in the area of workforce nutrition – with nearly one thousand cumulative participants from around the globe taking part throughout the year. 

What has been achieved in just this short year is nothing short of remarkable, and is already beginning to have an impact on the lives of many workers – especially women, who often suffer the most from lack of healthy nutrition. It is also helping communities to build resiliency as they continue to be impacted by the Covid-19 pandemic.  

As we now look forward to 2022 and beyond, we are excited to continue to work with you all, and to scaling up workforce nutrition to reach our goal of bringing healthy nutrition to +3 million employees and supply chain workers by 2025.

We are well on our way in this journey, and we thank you for your support. 

Wishing you all a very happy holiday season,

Wai-Chan Chan
Managing Director, The Consumer Goods Forum

Lawrence Haddad,
Executive Director, Global Alliance for Improved Nutrition (GAIN)

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