Fortification programs today suffer from a lack of compliance and quality due to weak government enforcement mechanisms, poor incentives, lack of trained personnel, and limited resources. Mills/refiners are not adequately held accountable to meet government standards for fortification. Without consistent enforcement that ensures a level playing field, many do not fortify at all. This diminishes fortification’s contribution to micronutrient intakes and disease prevention.
International development organizations have worked for decades to support national fortification initiatives, primarily through accreditation services (i.e., certifying the quality of micronutrient premix) and building the capacity of industries, labs, and government regulators.
These efforts have achieved significant progress and should continue. But to accelerate progress towards sustainable, cost-effective fortification systems in developing countries, development partners must also innovate beyond these "business as usual" approaches.
To develop country-owned, digital, user-friendly systems that enable mills and authorities to generate, govern, share, and utilize real-time, accurate, secure, and traceable data on food fortification quality from factories to markets.
Digital QAQC systems will equip fortified food producers to:
- Provide proof of quality and social impact
- Market a high-quality product to consumers, increasing profitability and brand loyalty
- Improve inventory management, reducing waste and preventing stock outs
- Course-correct in real time, improving efficiency
- Ensure procurement of quality premix and a final product that is fortified to meet national standards
- Map product distribution and improve understanding of the market
Digital QAQC systems will equip governments to:
- Strengthen oversight of fortification quality
- Make data-driven decisions about the use of public resources
- Provide assurance to consumers regarding product quality and truth in labelling
Pilots and Scale Up
Between 2022 and 2025, GAIN will lead a consortium of technical experts to pilot and scale up digital QAQC systems for food fortification in 3 countries: Bangladesh, India, and Nigeria.
The pilot will focus on fortified vegetable oil, but these digital QAQC systems can also be adapted and used along the value chain for any food product.
Using an iterative, agile approach digital qa/qc systems will be co-designed with private and public partners in all three countries. Change starts from the ground up and local champions of digitization will be an essential part of the process.
This project rejects a one-size-fits-all approach; Co-creating digital systems with local refiners and public employees, we seek a balance between standardization and customization, so that all stakeholders benefit from the shift to a digital system.
Our Theory of change