Royal DSM, a global purpose-led science-based company, and the World Food Programme (WFP), the world’s largest humanitarian organization, have agreed to extend their partnership and scale up rice fortification worldwide for a further three years. The partnership will seek to improve the availability and accessibility of nutritious foods in order to reach vulnerable people where key dietary decisions are made.
DSM and the WFP began working together in 2007 with the mission of ‘Improving nutrition, Improving lives’ and currently reaches 35 million people annually with nutritious products improved through the partnership. During 15 years of collaboration, the two organizations have helped fight nutritional deficiencies which caps the potential of 2 billion people around the world, crippling their growth, and threatening lives. DSM offers the WFP its technical and scientific expertise in nutrition, quality assurance and marketing, as well as its financial assistance, to improve the availability and affordability of fortified, nutritious foods for people in need.
In Bangladesh, for example, the partnership has supported more than 70 SMEs in building their capacity to produce fortified rice which looks, cooks, and tastes just like ordinary rice but includes essential vitamins and minerals that help curb micronutrient deficiencies. This initiative has directly benefitted local food producers and processors and resulted in more than 7 million people in the country now having access to fortified rice through social safety nets.
In addition, DSM and the WFP are working together to drive food systems’ transformation, supporting local food companies and value chains in developing countries to deliver more affordable fortified nutritious food options to people in their communities.
Geraldine Matchett and Dimitri de Vreeze, DSM co-chief executive officers, commented, “If food fails, everything else fails. This partnership is an opportunity to further combine the strengths of DSM and the WFP in order to make a difference to the millions of people whose lives are affected by the lack of good nutrition. Because it is up to all of us to take action.”
David Beasley, WFP Executive Director, commented, “As rates of hunger skyrocket around the world, partnerships like the one with DSM are critical because they help the WFP reach millions of vulnerable people with the nutrition they need to survive – and thrive. Together, we are saving and changing lives.”
In 2021, DSM launched specific and measurable food systems commitments, which include a target to help close the micronutrient gap of 800 million people by 2030. The DSM-WFP partnership will play a vital role in contributing to this aim by strengthening sustainable food systems and improving resilience by increasing access to, demand for, and consumption of more nutritious foods – particularly among the most vulnerable.