CGF and GAIN announce new Alliance to roll out improved nutrition in the workplace


Berlin, 25 October 2019 - 

An initiative to raise nutrition standards for workforces across the globe was today announced at the Consumer Goods Forum (CGF) Sustainable Retail Summit (SRS) in Berlin.

The Consumer Goods Forum, which brings together 400 consumer goods companies and retailers, has joined forces with the Global Alliance for Improved Nutrition (GAIN) to encourage employers to take action on improving the nutritional outcomes for their workers and employees. 

"58% of the world’s population will spend one third of their time at work during their adult life", said Pauline Harper, Interim Director, Health & Wellness at the CGF, "There is clear opportunity to use the workplace to improve nutritional status and tackle poor diets, now the biggest cause of ill health in every country". CGF members employ more than ten million people directly, and at least ninety million more through their partners and suppliers.

The Alliance will set guidance for interventions and invite individual companies to sign up to implement a programme. It will also facilitate public sector employers and non-state organisations making similar commitments.

The Alliance wants employers to commit to – and take action on - improving the nutritional outcomes of their workers and employees.

To achieve this, it will make the case for action, explaining why workforce nutrition matters, what organisations and individuals can do to effect change.

It will also gather evidence on the human, economic and nutritional impact of these interventions.

Garment worker with pink headscarf

The Alliance wants employers to commit to – and take action on - improving the nutritional outcomes of their workers and employees. © Yosuf Tushar / GAIN

The Alliance will focus increasing employees’ access to healthy and safe foods at work, and helping them to adopt beneficial health habits. It will also encourage company policies which enable working mothers to breastfeed exclusively for six months and continually up to two years.

There is clear opportunity to use the workplace to improve nutritional status and tackle poor diets, now the biggest cause of ill health in every country.

Pauline Harper, Interim Director, Health & Wellness, CGF

"Leadership by the private sector can catalyse action on multiple fronts to tackle hunger, micronutrient deficiencies, and overweight and obesity”, said Lawrence Haddad, Executive Director of GAIN, "This workforce programme is one. It makes business sense, and is the right thing to do. We appreciate CGF’s leadership".

Evidence demonstrates benefits including reduced absenteeism, lower rates of accidents and mistakes, enhanced productivity, and improved health outcomes. Returns on investment are up to 6:1.

This workforce programme is one. It makes business sense, and is the right thing to do.

Lawrence Haddad, Executive Director, GAIN

The Alliance will invite employers to sign a Commitment Register and report periodically on making workforce nutrition a key component of their health and wellness plans and activities. "We hope that government agencies and civil society organisations will also sign up", added Haddad.

The Alliance commitments will form part of the agenda of the Tokyo Nutrition for Growth Summit being hosted by Japan in December 2020, which will tackle health challenges and mobilise global commitments to make nutritious and healthy diets more available to all.

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