Daily consumption of sufficient nutrients for a healthy life is important but not achievable for all people. For instance, an iodine, vitamin A and iron deficiency are a serious threat to women and children in low-income countries. The FrieslandCampina programme Broadening access to nutrition which is aimed at making foods and the right nutrients available to more people, especially people with lower incomes, is still under development.

Milk and malnutrition

In 2013, the FAO published the report Milk and dairy products in Human Nutrition. In this report, it is stated that milk plays an important role in treating malnutrition in both developing countries and in the western world. In western countries almost all enteral nutrition for undernourished patients contains milk. In developing countries, one glass of milk as part of a healthy diet can provide 25-30% of the daily reference intake for protein. Milk products are versatile and therefore they can be easily fit in with local habits and cultures. Besides, vitamins and minerals can be added to the products in order to make extra nutrients available to more people.

Affordable nutrition – complex challenge

Making food affordable and available to people with low incomes requires a new marketing strategy, which includes a business model with different distribution channels (availability), prices and packaging. Also, we developed criteria guaranteeing that the products specifically developed for this target group contain the appropriate nutrients to help combat undernutrition.

This is a major and complex challenge as well as a continuous learning process. We are presently assessing the viability and workability of the business model and these criteria. After this, pilots will be conducted in Asia and Africa. Based on the results of this assessment, actual objectives, targets and possible partnerships will be determined.

Food aid and school milk

Apart from making nutrition and milk affordable and available, food aid remains necessary. FrieslandCampina has a partnership with the Red Cross, provides milk and milk products to Food banks and supports school milk programmes both in western as well as in Asian and African countries.

Dairy Development Programme

To help combat undernutrition it is also important that milk is available. In view of increasing the availability of milk in certain countries, FrieslandCampina initiated the Dairy Development Programme. This programme supports local dairy farmers (mainly small farmers) in Indonesia, Thailand, Vietnam, Malaysia, China, Russia, Romania, Nigeria and Pakistan to improve the quality of the milk, to increase the productivity per cow and to get access to the market.