The Private Sector Mechanism (PSM), an organization representing the agri-business sector at the UN Committee on World Food Security (CFS) in Rome, invited USCIB to present its public-private partnership recommendations at an event on April 26, Transforming Food Systems for Improved Nutrition. PSM members presented seventeen forward-looking policy recommendations to be considered for inclusion in the upcoming CFS Voluntary Guidelines on Food Systems and Nutrition, based on real case studies and examples that illustrated the recommendation and its importance to the nutrition guidelines.
USCIB Vice President for Product Policy and Innovation Mike Michener discussed the USCIB-GAIN nutrition partnership principles as the PSM’s Recommendation 17: Partnering for Outcome. The event was attended by approximately seventy CFS stakeholders, including member states, staff from Rome based agencies and representatives of civil society, NGO and philanthropic organizations.
The USCIB Foundation teamed up with the Global Alliance for Improved Nutrition (GAIN) to organize two public-private partnerships dialogues to tackle malnutrition. The first dialogue, held in New York in October 2017, developed seven principles of engagement between governments and business to improve nutritional outcomes through public-private partnerships. The second dialogue, held in Rome in November 2018, explored practical and tangible ways to implement and scale coordinated initiatives to put the draft Principles into practice. The program focused on both under-nutrition and the rise of overweight and obesity, as well as the associated diet related non-communicable diseases.
As one of the important outcomes of the Rome dialogue, GAIN and The USCIB Foundation agreed to take the Principles to donors such as developmental agencies, foundations and companies interested in public-private partnerships. Michener, who leads USCIB’s work on food and healthcare, emphasized the importance of engaging the CFS and other Rome-based UN agencies, such as the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO). “As we committed to do in November, we took the Principles to the Rome-based agencies with this briefing for Permanent Representatives via the PSM event,” he said. “We also plan to take the Principles to regional meetings, with the first meeting tentatively set for Ethiopia in early 2020.”
“Global food and agriculture constitute a $7.8 trillion industry, employing up to 40 percent of the working population in many countries yet progress towards the ambitious 2030 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) is too slow and the scale and complexity of the problem underscores the need for deepened collaboration and renewed commitment to improving nutrition outcomes for all, especially the most vulnerable,” according to Michener. “Countries cannot achieve their SDG goals without an aligned, motivated and incentivized private sector as a key partner,” added Michener. “In this context, improved dialogue and collaboration between government, business, civil society and international organizations is crucial for guiding engagement and focusing efforts where they can have the most sustainable impact and long-term success.”