New Survey Findings Reinforce the Need for Multi-Sector Collaboration to Engage Consumers on Improving Diet and Lifestyle Choices

Survey explores how Forum for the Future and FrieslandCampina’s Food & Nutrition Report findings are contributing to accelerating progress on food and nutrition security in Southeast Asia

SINGAPORE, April 1, 2016 – A survey by FrieslandCampina, one of the world’s leading dairy companies, has found that the need for businesses, governments and civil society to engage and collaborate to secure the future of food and nutrition and educate consumers continues to grow in importance for representatives across the entire food value chain in Southeast Asia.

The survey follows up on a report launched by Forum for the Future and FrieslandCampina, “Addressing food and nutrition security through partnerships and strong business leadership, in 2015. The Report was produced in consultation with representatives from the entire food value chain, including agri-food multinational companies, crop producers, financial institutions, retailers, academia, nutritionists, and international and non-governmental organisations. For the first time, non-traditional stakeholders such as logistics and packaging companies were also invited to participate in the conversation.

The survey enlisted all participants of the Roundtable to explore how the findings and recommendations of the Report are shaping their CSR strategies and accelerating progress on food and nutrition security in Southeast Asia.

The survey found that:

  • More than half of respondents consider collaboration between government bodies, NGOs and companies as the most important factor in engaging the consumer on better diet and lifestyle choices;
  • The Report has instigated more than a third of respondents to consider scaling up activities around agricultural sustainability and efforts to promote healthier eating and lifestyle choices;
  • 50% of respondents found the Report particularly insightful on new approaches to make sustainable changes to Supply Chain Infrastructure in order to benefit food and nutrition security in Southeast Asia; and
  • 50% of respondents believe that the collaborative opportunities flagged in the Report can be implemented within 2 – 4 years.

Whilst the challenge of sustainably feeding nine billion people by 2050 is high on the agenda of all participants, the growing double burden of malnutrition – undernutrition and overnutrition – was also highlighted as an important focus point for the survey respondents. It is a growing problem in Asia, costing the region 11% of its gross domestic product each year.

The survey highlighted the recognition amongst all actors that market-based approaches are important tools to achieve change on all accounts. One of the key goals of the Report was to find a good practical place to start and pursue a wider systems approach and the survey confirms that the food and agriculture industry is being proactive in its approach to accelerate change.

Based on the findings from the Roundtable, Forum for the Future has launched the Food Loss Consortium (FLC), which is a multi-stakeholder initiative designed to facilitate the progress towards real collaborative investments to improve the region’s grossly inefficient supply chains. The first step is to survey existing innovations in cold chain, ICT, packaging and supply chain structures that are commercially viable, scalable and have the potential to greatly reduce food losses; the Forum will then help business explore which innovations to pilot with their supply chain partners.

Since the publication of the Report, FrieslandCampina has sought to broaden the reach of its efforts to promote healthier eating and lifestyle choices amongst its consumers. The company has extended its agreement with the Jr NBA to encourage healthier lifestyle approaches amongst school-aged children across Southeast Asia as well as launching new product ranges specifically promoting good nutrition.

Piet Hilarides, Chief Operating Officer, FrieslandCampina Asia said: “The publication of our report addressing food and nutrition security in Southeast Asia has facilitated a number of interesting conversations throughout our value chain. We are focused on collaborating with our stakeholders to contribute to overcoming this pressing problem and are excited by the progress we are observing as a result of implementing a holistic approach. We did not expect change to happen immediately but are encouraged by the collective view of our survey respondents that the recommendations of our Report will instigate change in approaches to achieving food and nutrition security within the next two to four years.”

Ariel Muller, Director, Asia Pacific, Forum for the Future, said: “Bringing together a diverse body of stakeholders motivates businesses to reflect on their role in improving regional food security, and see opportunities to strengthen supply chain relationships by partnering to prepare for success in a resource-scarce future. We’re excited about the FLC because it allows us to use our expertise in cross-sector partnership to take this potential forward into real, collaborative action to build the food supply chains of the future.”