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May 14, 2017

Nestlé Pakistan committed to deliver on its CSV vision


May 14, 2017

GENEVA: Nestlé Pakistan says it is planning to increase its efforts in tackling malnourishment in children under five with the help of food fortification in pursuance of its vision of “creating shared value” (CSV) for the communities it works and lives in. 

In this regard, the company arranged a two-day visit for Pakistan Council of Scientific and Industrial Research (PCSIR) and Pakistani media to its headquarter in Laussane. In his introductory talk, Jörg Spieldener, Head of Public Health Nutrition Unit at Nestlé Research Center (NRC), explained the focus of the centre and the benefits of research and development in the overall economic growth of the world and developing economies in particular.

He also emphasised the need for transparency in terms of food fortification to help individuals and families better understand their needs, affordability, availability, and long-term socioeconomic benefits.

Later, Dr Robert Bowling, director analytical chemistry & food safety at Nestlé, presented the food safety and statistics to the visiting media and other participants. Explaining the difference between communicable diseases to non-communicable diseases, Dr Bowling said Pakistan in the next decade or so was in danger of having a population, which might not be able to take part in economic development due to stunted growth and malnourishment.

"An individual goes nine IQ points down due to iron deficiency, which costs $52 million to Pakistan annually and a loss of 1.44 to 3 percent of the GDP," Dr Richard Stadler, head of the quality management department at Nestlé´ said.

"Our economic growth is linked to our health and Nestlé Pakistan wants to focus on malnutrition in children, as they are the future of the country," Waqar Ahmed, head of corporate affairs at Nestlé Pakistan, said while shedding light on malnutrition and its impacts in Pakistan. Ahmed added that Nestlé Pakistan offers fortified product servings (fortified with big 4 i.e., iron, vitamin A & D and Zinc) for all ages of society, specially growing children. “Nestlé Pakistan will be focusing on toddlers, as well as young mothers to improve their health as part of its CSV vision,” he said.

Speaking on the occasion, Dr Shahzad Alam, PCSIR chairman, expressed a high opinion of Nestlé’s vision and lauded its team for putting in so much research into the food fortification process and invited the company to increase its collaboration with the government of Pakistan.

Adrianne Klijn, group leader microbiological and molecular analytics at NRC, discussed the biosafety laboratory and the methodologies adopted to ensure compliance in food safety and guarantees. She also elaborated on the testing of food products for halal compliance.

The NRC in Loussance is a state of art scientific research facility spread on 480 hectares. Nestlé employs 5,200 people in R&D to innovate, reformulate, and update its products based on global nutritional criteria. 

Meanwhile, John Martin Miller, Senior Vice President Nestlé and in-charge of Africa, South Asia Region and Pakistan, also held a meeting with the Pakistani delegates on Friday, May 12 and assured them visitors of Nestlé’s keen interest in the health of the region.

Miller is slated to visit Pakistan in July along with Wan Ling Martello, an executive board member, who is responsible for the region. As part of its CSV endeavor, Nestlé Pakistan has educated more than 100,000 children, trained at least 400 teachers, engaged 2,500 young women from universities, and established seven clean drinking water facilities, which provide safe water to 60,000 people per day. In 2016, the company collected milk from over 100,000 thousand local farmers in Pakistan via 2,200 collection points, against Rs22 billion.

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