ODIMEGWU ONWUMERE writes in this report that the lack of healthy food in schools and communities is a major issue for general well-being, which Nestlé is addressing through school, partnership, and workshop education programs
As he greeted his guests at the Agbara factory, which is in the well-known Ado-Odo/Ota Local Government Area of Ogun State, close to Lagos State, Mauricio Alarcon, a Country Manager for Nestlé Nigeria, stated that Nestlé was prepared to continue working with the relevant government agency and other partners to address some of the areas of identifying baselines and work on nutrition solutions to improve Nigeria’s nutrition indicators.
It was six years ago when a factory tour with key stakeholders was held by Nestlé Nigeria in honor of the company’s 150th anniversary of providing nutritious food to people all over the world that Alarcon made the statement. Areas such as “health indicators of under-fives in Nigeria” and “Nestlé’s efforts to reduce micronutrient deficiencies in under-fives in Nigeria” were among the topics covered during the tour.
Worried that over two billion people worldwide had iron deficiency, wages were reduced by as much as 25% due to iron deficiency, and malnutrition affected one in three people worldwide, their expert said, lack of healthy sustenance results in expansiveness and expands the gamble of horribleness and mortality with undernutrition.
Keeping with promise of providing nutrition
In order to support the local sourcing of raw materials and investments in rural communities, this company, which has been in operation in Nigeria for 61 years and employs 2,201 people, has made investments in three production facilities—Agbara, Flowergate, and most recently Abaji. Additionally, in keeping with its promise of providing nutrition, Nestlé employs approximately 333,000 individuals in over 150 nations. Nestlé, a multinational food and beverage company based in Vevey, Vaud, Switzerland, was founded in 1866 by two distinct Swiss businesses that later formed the company’s baseline.
Since then, Nestle has not dwindled hope in keeping with its talks, and agencies have not declined to collaborate as it plans to reach over 50 million children worldwide through its project to promote nutrition education and healthier living by 2030. The nutrition hope for posterity is not only that Nestlé is the largest food company in the world when revenues and other metrics are taken into account for the years 2014, 2015, and 2016, but it also ranked 72 on the Fortune Global 500 list in 2014 and 33 on the Forbes Global 2000 list of the largest public companies in 2016 and has maintained its lead.
According to Dr. Kanalio Olaloku, Manager, Central and West Africa (Anglophone countries), of the Nestlé Nutrition Institute, at its annual Nestlé Media Training for Journalists via Zoom Meet on April 13, 2022, in Lagos, “At least 15% of our daily requirements are met in a single serving of over 95% of our products.
“Each product contains at least one of the major four nutrient deficiencies: iron, iodine, zinc, and vitamin A.
“Until diets improve and meet the deficiencies that will be corrected by longer-term intervention, food fortification and supplementation continue to be the primary means by which key micronutrients are delivered to populations at risk.”
Partnering with food vendors
Mark Wahlqvist, Professor of Medicine and President, International Union of Nutritional Sciences (2003), as well as Nigeria’s eminent professors of nutrition such as Adewale Omololu, Tola Atinmo, A. Onisemo, and E. O. Ojofeitimi, all agreed that evidence-based nutrition (EBN) was relevant to consumers, as Nestlé Nigeria hosted a seminar in 2003.
A campaign to combat iron deficiency among Nigerians, particularly women and children, was launched by Nestle Nigeria and the federal government. To commemorate World Health Day 2021, the campaign known as “Live Strong with Iron” (LSWI) was launched in Abuja.
The Nutrition Society of Nigeria (NSN), the office of the first lady, the ministry of agriculture, the ministry of women’s affairs, and the ministry of health were all part of the partnership.
Wassim Elhusseini, Nestle Nigeria’s managing director, stated that the campaign focuses on improving Nigerians’ health. Elhusseini stated., “Given the high prevalence in our environment, the goal of the campaign is to support governments’ efforts to combat iron deficiency.
“We are excited to collaborate with all the stakeholders (MDAs) assembled here today to draw attention to the abundant resource of iron-dense, locally available foods that each family can access in order to improve the current statistics on iron deficiency.”
Public health awareness campaign
Mrs. Victoria Uwadoka, the Corporate Communications and Public Affairs Manager of Nestlé Nigeria, stated in Abuja during the Nutrition Quiz competition, which was organized by Nestlé Nigeria PLc, that it was aimed at testing children’s knowledge and practice of healthy nutrition.
This is despite the fact that Nestle for Healthier Kids (N4HK) is set to reach over 50 million children worldwide under its project that is aimed at promoting nutrition education and healthier lives by 2030.
“The federal ministry of women affairs will support this public health awareness campaign, as it has valuable content that will positively impact the health of a huge percentage of Nigerians,” said Anthonia Ekpa, permanent secretary at the ministry of women affairs, in her remarks regarding the partnership.
“We are committed to working with stakeholders to improve the overall well-being of Nigerian women and children.”
In addition, Golden Morn, one of the most well-known brands in Nestlé Nigeria, collaborated with the Enterprise Development Center of Pan Atlantic University to create an Agripreneurship Webinar Series to increase youth participation in the food sector and promote sustainable food systems.
Through trainings, opportunities for funding, mentoring, and networking, the program helps young entrepreneurs who are already operating businesses in the agricultural sector or are about to start one. Over 200 young farmers have benefited from the webinar’s four series thus far.
Food education workshop
Juxtaposed to that, Nestlé Professional Business, the out-of-home business division of Nestlé Nigeria, recently presented a “The Business of Food”-themed food education workshop to more than 200 canteens and food vendors in Ibadan, Oyo State.
The purpose of the workshop was to educate the attendees and offer advice on how to expand their food service businesses. Additionally, they were shown how to prepare tasty meals that will please their customers.
“The collaboration with the Association of Caterers and Food Vendors provides the opportunity for Nestlé to share her expertise in nutrition, health, and wellness developed over 150 years with members of the association here today and going forward,” Mrs. Funmi Osineye, Manager, Nestlé Professional Nigeria, said at the event.
“We are additionally happy to utilize this event to present the new, reasonable, and pocket-friendly Maggi 100 g powder in Chicken and Star Preparing variations for little food entrepreneurs. Nestlé Professional intends to maintain this partnership with food vendors and caterers in order to improve industry services,” she added.
Uwadoka noted that the competition, which was held simultaneously in Ogun State and the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) Abuja for seven days, attracted 20 schools from the three senatorial districts of Ogun State and 10 schools from the six area councils.
“Nestlé for Healthier Kids aligns with our objective of promoting the advantages of healthy eating and physical activity in children’s lives. The Nutrition Quiz competition reinforces these lessons to improve recall and practice,” she expressed.
However, experts have commended Nestle for ensuring that their food products are processed in accordance with consumers’ nutritional needs, and this admirable initiative should serve as a model for other food manufacturers.
The following statement was made by Prof. Oluseye Onabanjo, who is in charge of the Ogun State chapter of the Nutrition Society of Nigeria (NSN)
“A main issue for general wellbeing is the lack of healthy food in schools. The foundations are continuing education on early childhood feeding practices and improving the quality of children’s food,” said Onabanjo.
The children’s performance in the competition was praised by Alhaji Aboki Danladi, the Deputy Director of School Health for FCT UBEB.
He said, “The Board appreciates Nestlé for the consistent investment in the education and welfare of children over the years. Our children will gain from the “Nestlé for Healthier Kids Program,” which is a worthwhile endeavor.”
Odimegwu Onwumere writes from Rivers State via: firstname.lastname@example.org