The Private Sector Mechanism’s (PSM) Nutrition Committee of the International Agri-Food Network (IAFN) reinforced to United Nations agencies the “unique values” that multi-stakeholder partnerships bring to food and nutrition security at a recent meeting.

In a statement from Chairman of the Nutrition Committee JB Cordaro, during a plenary discussion at the Second International Conference on Nutrition (ICN2) Preparatory Technical Meeting in November, Cordaro highlighted that the PSM Nutrition Committee is committed to working alongside various stakeholders to “identify, prioritise, and implement initiatives and programs in areas that can make a real difference”.

These areas include increasing sustainable agriculture production; providing access to safe, affordable, nutritious food products to vulnerable populations; supporting nutrition specific interventions; and targeting nutrition-sensitive components.

Held in Rome, the ICN2 Preparatory Technical Meeting was jointly organised by the World Health Organisation (WHO) and the Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) and marked the opening of a broad-based consultation leading up to ICN2. Participants at the meeting included senior technical experts from the food and agriculture, health and other sectors, as well as the civil society, private sector and consumer associations.

The 2014 ICN2, which will take place from 19-21 November 2014, is a high level ministerial conference and an inclusive inter-governmental meeting on nutrition. The purpose of the meeting is to propose a flexible policy framework to adequately address the major nutrition challenges of the next decades.

Cordaro also noted in his statement that such public-private partnerships are “key drivers” in driving programmes and initiatives to achieve the Zero Hunger Challenge; shape the sustainable agricultural productivity and nutrition targets in the Post-2015 Development Framework; and fulfil the mission of the ICN2 to build a new nutrition policy framework.

The PSM Nutrition Committee recommended in a draft position paper the facilitation of forums and interactive mechanisms that can allow the private sector to collaborate with other stakeholders to identify and prioritise the “multiple, essential roles where the private sector can utilise its tools, capabilities and expertise”.

The position paper had been developed by the PSM Nutrition Committee in preparation for the ICN2 Preparatory Technical Meeting.

In the paper, it also highlighted that the IAFN should play a leadership role in creating an environment that can allow the private sector to interact with and contribute to the PSM in fulfilling new initiatives. This included the need for “open, transparent platforms for the private sectors and other interested stakeholders to stimulate robust discussions and develop meaningful outcomes for decision making”.

Codaro said nutrition needed to be in “multi-sector strategies within national and local government plans and initiatives“ and the need to collaborate among stakeholders to “implement mutually shared, purpose driven goals and aspirations”.

The IAFN PSM Nutrition Committee will table its draft position paper for discussion on 10 December during the UN Committee on World Food Security (CFS) European regional meeting held in Rome from 9-11 December.

FIA issues a fortnightly e-bulletin with analysis on relevant food and beverage industry issues across the region. To subscribe to this service, please click here.