FIA Launches Health & Nutrition Report

SINGAPORE – Industry leaders from the region’s top food and beverage companies gathered in Singapore on 12 April to mark the private sector’s contribution to addressing some of the region’s most pressing health challenges.

The event showcased the commitments of FIA’s fifteen member companies who among them support more than 70 programmes throughout Asia that help to improve food security, raise nutrition literacy, and meet community needs for clean drinking water, education and health care. Collectively, these programmes touch millions of lives in positive, lasting ways. FIA’s inaugural report, “The Contribution of Food & Beverage Companies to Health and Nutrition in Asia,” highlights some the best programmes currently ongoing across Asia Pacific and is available for download here.

Joining the FIA Coordinating Council at a reception to mark the launch of the report were more than 80 invited guests including industry leaders from all over Asia as well as notable political figures and leading experts in food security, food safety and nutrition

The reception was hosted by FIA President Pradeep Pant. Pant, who was re-elected to lead the Association for a third successive term, welcomed guests to the reception and thanked the members of FIA for their leadership and support since FIA’s inauguration. Pant is President of Kraft Foods’ Asia Pacific business, based in Singapore.

“It has been a pleasure to work alongside so many talented business leaders in the launch of FIA’s first major report. This report offers only a snapshot of the tremendous efforts the food industry is making to tackle some of the region’s toughest challenges,” Pant said. “With the launch of this Report, we mark not only the encouraging progress that is being made to address these challenges, but we acknowledge the importance of continued partnership that is necessary to make a meaningful and sustainable impact on our communities –as individual companies and as an industry.”

The launch of the report builds on FIA’s commitment to be a valuable and credible partner in addressing the complex challenge of meeting food security goals. With its broad and diverse membership, FIA serves in a "communicate and coordinate" role, linking food companies with regional policymakers, NGOs and governments, and sharing "global best practices" from leading industry groups, government agencies and UN bodies like the World Health Organization (WHO) and the Rome-based Food Agencies of the UNO, including FAO, IFAD, and WFP.

Speaking at the launch of FIA’s report, Thomas Elhaut, Director of Statistics & Studies at the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD), said “Because of the complexity of the challenges faced in Asia, a one-size-fits-all approach will not work. We know that the food industry has a great deal of depth and expertise to offer in product safety, nutrition and sustainable supply chains and it’s clear that an approach based on partnership offers a win-win solution in tackling some of these global challenges. There is a real need for the Asian food industry to act locally and think globally, in a South-South Cooperation spirit. What happens or what does not happen in Asia has deep implications for other regions in the world, especially the more vulnerable of food deficit countries. I applaud the efforts by FIA’s members, who are stepping up to this challenge in a meaningful way and I look forward to continuing our dialogue with the private sector in Asia.”

As FIA builds on these relationships it does so from the knowledge that fair, transparent and harmonised policies that promote trade throughout the world are crucial to meeting food security goals. This is the only way to encourage competitiveness and help to ensure a safe supply chain for staple foods and access to a wider variety of products and technologies. In addition, this provides producers with access to global markets and raises rural incomes where food security is most pressing. By helping to harness the depth and expertise within the private sector, FIA hopes to contribute to improved food security throughout the region.

Founded in July 2010, FIA brings together fifteen of the world’s leading food and beverage companies. From its base in Singapore, the organisation seeks to enhance the industry’s role as a constructive, trusted partner in the development of science-based policies throughout the region. FIA provides an important hub for advocacy and debate. We bring together the industry’s most senior business leaders to champion initiatives that promote sustainable supply chains and we support integrated policies that deliver harmonised results. Our members share common values on food safety, food security and the delivery of public health outcomes that are relevant to their products. Together, they lend support to local industry groups in the region and reach out to stakeholders who share their common vision.