Millers pledge to fortify staple foods for a healthier world

20 October 20235 min reading

Millers for Nutrition, a new food industry-led coalition, aims to help millers produce adequately fortified staple foods and reach one billion people with fortified rice, edible oil and flour by 2026.

Millers from Africa and Asia have joined other stakeholders to announce a commitment to reach one billion people1 with adequately fortified rice, edible oil and flour by 2026. To do this, Millers for Nutrition, a new industry-led coalition, will make adequate fortification of staple foods easier and more rewarding for millers, the businesses responsible for processing dietary staples like flour, cooking oil, and rice.

The launch of Millers for Nutrition at the Micronutrient Forum’s 6th Global Nutrition for Resilience Conference comes as the world faces a worsening food and nutrition crisis. Healthy diets, nutrition education, optimal breastfeeding and food fortification are all important components of a comprehensive response to the devastating impacts of malnutrition. By adding essential vitamins and minerals to the widely consumed foods they produce, millers can play an important role in reducing malnutrition and improving public health. Millers for Nutrition has been established to encourage, enable and celebrate this vital work.

Millers who join Millers for Nutrition and commit to improving the nutritional quality of their food will receive free technical support to make it easier to fortify their products. This includes access to tailored technical training and business advice, product testing support and online tools and resources, which will also help millers to reduce their compliance risk and enhance production efficiency. As fortification quality improves, members will benefit as they gain greater recognition for product quality and industry leadership, for example, through inclusion in a specially designed index that rates brands on fortification performance, and associated visibility at events and in local media.

Millers for Nutrition is being implemented in eight countries across Africa and Asia: Bangladesh, Ethiopia, India, Indonesia, Kenya, Nigeria, Pakistan and Tanzania, and across three staple food vehicles: rice, edible oil, and flour (wheat and maize). In each country, the focus of Millers for Nutrition activities will be based on governmentled priorities and legislation and will align closely with the existing nutrition and food fortification strategies of governments and NGO partners.

Millers for Nutrition is a cross-sector partnership, with millers at the centre and industry partners from across the food fortification value chain, including founding partners BASF, dsm-firmenich, Mühlenchemie/SternVitamin, Piramal, BioAnalyt and Sanku contributing technical expertise and support to millers. Regional and local technical partners such as Hexagon Nutrition in India are now joining the coalition to support millers in specific geographies or staples. The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation is providing strategic input and investment to support the creation of the coalition. International nonprofit TechnoServe, which has significant experience supporting industry-led fortification capacity building efforts, will coordinate program activities.

Millers for Nutrition will provide millers—whether they are just beginning to fortify their products or are already experienced champions for fortification— with the support they need to achieve and sustain fortification excellence. Miller members will be entitled to benefits according to their membership level. As fortification performance improves, millers “graduate” to a new membership level and rewards and recognition increase.

The coalition will also serve as a platform for accelerating and scaling industry-led innovation in food fortification. For example, Millers for Nutrition is helping to improve the efficiency and effectiveness of premix and product testing, and to develop better solutions for small mills.