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Where business and nutrition meet: review of approaches and evidence on private sector engagement in nutrition

Published in June 2018 by Maximising the Quality of Scaling Up Nutrition Plus (MQSUN+) which provides the Department for International Development (DFID) with technical services to improve the quality of nutrition-specific and nutrition-sensitive, this report increases understanding of business initiatives aimed at reducing malnutrition, by mapping and assessing evidence and lessons learned, identifying good practices and opportunities for further engagement in nutrition and making recommendations to promote and support sustainable business action on nutrition.

The review looked at three pillars through which the private sector may have directly or indirectly impacted nutrition outcomes: (1) access to naturally nutritious foods, (2) scale up of fortified foods and (3) strengthening of workforce nutrition actions. For each pillar, one or more pathways laid out actions along private sector value chains, in product development, sourcing, production, marketing, distribution and sales. The review found great variation in the strength of evidence for the impact pathways in each pillar, depending on the period over which investments had been made by both the private and public sectors. The evidence base for fortified staple foods is strong, as investments in this pathway started over 60 years ago and accelerated over the past 25 years. Investments to scale up research and delivery through biofortification or naturally nutrient-dense foods are more recent, so the evidence base on the pathway to scale is just beginning to grow.

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16 September 2019

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