GAIN Convening Paper Series 1 - Better nutrition for a healthier workforce

Employers can play an important role in reducing the global burden of malnutrition and empowering employees to live healthier lives. Workers spend most of their waking hours in a working context - whether in an office, a factory, or a farm - and that context can be either an enabler or a barrier to positive nutrition and health behaviours. Workforce Nutrition (WFN) programmes are a broad set of actions that employers can take to improve the nutrition and health of their workers. They are implemented through the existing structures of the workplace. WFN programmes can address a wide variety of nutrition-related problems, from underweight to obesity, iron-deficiency anaemia to diabetes. 

A meeting was convened by the Global Alliance for Improved Nutrition (GAIN) and the Consumer Goods Forum (CGF) on 3 and 4 July 2019 in Geneva, Switzerland. The aim of the meeting was to achieve consensus on the why, what and how of improving employee nutrition, by addressing the main challenges around workforce nutrition, sharing best practices and learning regarding implementation of programmes in the workplace, and looking to the future to seek shared opportunities. The meeting was attended by a broad range of stakeholders who are actively involved in WFN programmes. 

This paper reports on the discussions and outcomes of the "Better Nutrition for a Healthier Workforce" workshop. The main outcome was the creation of a strategic alliance, to be led by GAIN and CGF, to put WFN on the global agenda, including at the Tokyo 2020 Nutrition for Growth Summit. Several individuals present at the meeting made public commitments towards WFN, either on behalf of their organisation or as individuals.