On 25 & 26 June, WBCSD and its FReSH members supported the successful business mobilization conference held in The Hague in preparation for the Global Nutrition for Growth (N4G) Summit to be held in Tokyo, Japan at the end of 2020. The conference was organised by the Global Alliance for Improved Nutrition (GAIN) and Access to Nutrition Initiative (ATNI), and welcomed over 200 representatives from governments, academia, civil society, the non-profit sector and businesses – including leading business associations like the Consumer Goods Forum (CGF), Food Industry Asia (FIA), and the International Food and Beverage Alliance (IFBA).

This conference marked an important step for preparing businesses and their actions for healthy people and a healthy planet, as the upcoming N4G summit is an opportunity to acknowledge the original Nutrition for Growth Summit in 2013 and make a set of new commitments to action, with 10 years to go to deliver the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) in 2030.

The Governments of the Netherlands, the United Kingdom and Japan emphasized in their statements delivered in The Hague the critical role of food systems in tackling the interlinked challenges across food, health, climate change and nature. There was wholehearted recognition that ‘business is at the core of these systems’ with the outgoing Director-General of FAO, Dr Graziano da Silva, stating that ‘we need a radical transformation, and this can only be achieved by strategic alliances – in food, business is a core player’. The Government of Japan also underlined the strong linkage between achieving universal health coverage and enabling food systems to deliver better diets for all which will be a core theme of the summit.

Our WBCSD Positive Nutrition Group members and FReSH colleagues led two working sessions on Reformulation and Animal Sourced Protein during the conference. Members also spoke and participated in all of the other working sessions including Marketing to Children, Workforce Nutrition, Fruit and Vegetables, Fortification and Financing of Nutrition Foods.

It became clear that new finance and investment models will focus on two areas – setting some goals for expanding new blended finance models for SMEs in food systems, and linking the work of WBCSD, the Food Systems Dialogues and ATNF to develop an international investor coalition with support of business platforms and governments that pledges support to a set of investor expectations on nutrition and health.

We will keep you posted about our work to get businesses ready for the Summit in Japan to ultimately have them lead, transform and succeed for healthy people and a healthy planet. For more information, please reach out to Alison Cairns.

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