The Nutrient Gap Initiative, aiming to improve access to essential nutrients for 50 million people by 2030, expands its scope to include both supplementation and food
Submitted by Bayer
BASEL, Switzerland and MONHEIM, Germany, February 24, 2023 /CSRwire/ – As a part of the company’s vision “Health for all, Hunger for None,” Bayer announces the expansion of one of its signature sustainability programs, the Nutrient Gap Initiative, to now improve access to both nutritious food and safety net supplementation. The program initially aimed to expand access to essential vitamins and minerals to 50 million people in underserved communities by 2030, with a focus on nutritional supplementation, a critical tool to build a safety net for malnutrition in these communities. On the occasion of the initiative’s second anniversary, the company is evolving the program to also help close the nutrient gap through the most fundamental source: food, namely fruits, vegetables and grains.
Often called “hidden hunger,” vitamin and mineral deficiencies are highly prevalent in underserved communities, with women and children being most vulnerable. This type of malnutrition develops gradually over time, the impact not seen until irreversible damage is done. Deprivation of essential vitamins and minerals may cause poor immunity, birth defects, reduced work capacity, learning disabilities, fragile health or failure to thrive - often exacerbating the cycle of poverty. COVID-19 and the crisis in Ukraine have both aggravated this health issue.
“As a global leader in both agriculture and nutritional supplements, Bayer is uniquely positioned to help all people get access to proper nutrition. The roots of malnutrition are complex and far from one-size-fits-all, so we’re drawing on competencies from across our company to fight it. We want to remove the barriers to a healthy diet for those who need it most,” said Heiko Schipper, President of the Consumer Health Division of Bayer AG and Member of the Board of Management.
“For people in underserved communities, access to nutritious food is a challenge due to the cost and local availability of fresh produce and grains. As part of our critical work for food security and smallholder farmers, The Nutrient Gap Initiative will help improve the livelihoods of people who do not have access to vitamins and minerals, leveraging also our Better Life Farming Centers,” said Rodrigo Santos, President of the Crop Science Division of Bayer AG and Member of the Board of Management.
With the Nutrient Gap Initiative, Bayer aims to consolidate the company’s commitment to food security by addressing both the quantity of food needed to tackle world hunger, as well as the quality needed to ensure healthy lives, with access to essential vitamins and minerals. Malnutrition disproportionately affects vulnerable groups, in particular women and girls and rural communities, which has clear overlap with the work the company is already doing to improve the livelihoods of smallholder farmers.
Smallholder farmers are the backbone of many food systems, but their communities are often suffering from malnutrition and lack health services. Building on the existing strong infrastructure of the Better Life Farming centers, smallholder farmers will become a key audience for The Nutrient Gap Initiative. The Better Life Farming Centers, predominantly in Asia Pacific, provide smallholders in remote rural regions access to essential agricultural products, a key pillar of Bayer’s Smallholder Initiative which aims to impact 100 million smallholders in low-and-middle-income countries by 2030. Bayer will pilot the expansion of services offered with access to nutritional solutions and education given that food security cannot be achieved without health equity.
Through direct action and in partnership with critical non-governmental organizations and the public sector, the Nutrient Gap Initiative will help close the nutrient gap by addressing the three main barriers to accessing essential vitamins and minerals:
In 2022, the Nutrient Gap Initiative has impacted more than 19 million people in underserved communities, accelerating Bayer’s goal to expand access to everyday health for 100 million people in underserved communities. As the program evolves to expand access to nutritious food, in addition to vitamins and mineral supplementation, Bayer will be able to offer more tools, services and programs to help build healthier, more resilient communities.
Some of the programs Bayer will be implementing in 2023 include:
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Bayer is a global enterprise with core competencies in the life science fields of health care and nutrition. Its products and services are designed to help people and the planet thrive by supporting efforts to master the major challenges presented by a growing and aging global population. Bayer is committed to driving sustainable development and generating a positive impact with its businesses. At the same time, the Group aims to increase its earning power and create value through innovation and growth. The Bayer brand stands for trust, reliability and quality throughout the world. In fiscal 2021, the Group employed around 100,000 people and had sales of 44.1 billion euros. R&D expenses before special items amounted to 5.3 billion euros. For more information, go to www.bayer.com.
About Better Life Farming
The Better Life Farming centers (BLFs) help smallholder farmers grow their farms into commercially profitable and sustainable businesses. Bayer is part of the Better Life Farming Alliance, a long-term public-private partnership together with the International Finance Corporation from the World Bank, Netafim and more than 30 local partners.
The BLF ecosystem approach is an important pillar of Bayer’s Smallholder Initiative which aims to support a total of 100 million smallholder farmers in low-and-middle-income-countries by 2030. In 2022, Bayer expanded the network of local BLFs from Asia Pacific to Mexico and Honduras. The first BLFs on the African continent will open in the course of the year.
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This release may contain forward-looking statements based on current assumptions and forecasts made by Bayer management. Various known and unknown risks, uncertainties and other factors could lead to material differences between the actual future results, financial situation, development or performance of the company and the estimates given here. These factors include those discussed in Bayer’s public reports which are available on the Bayer website at www.bayer.com. The company assumes no liability whatsoever to update these forward-looking statements or to conform them to future events or developments.
Bayer: Science For A Better Life
Bayer is a global enterprise with core competencies in the Life Science fields of health care and agriculture. Its products and services are designed to benefit people and improve their quality of life. At the same time, the Group aims to create value through innovation, growth and high earning power. Bayer is committed to the principles of sustainable development and to its social and ethical responsibilities as a corporate citizen. In fiscal 2015, the Group employed around 117,000 people and had sales of EUR 46.3 billion. Capital expenditures amounted to EUR 2.6 billion, R&D expenses to EUR 4.3billion. These figures include those for the high-tech polymers business, which was floated on the stock market as an independent company named Covestro on October 6, 2015. For more information, go to www.bayer.com.
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