SWITZERLAND – Bayer, one of the largest pharmaceutical companies in the world, has announced the expansion of one of its iconic sustainability programs, the Nutrient Gap Initiative, to now promote access to both nutrient-rich food and safety net supplementation as part of the company’s vision of “Health for all, Hunger for None.”
With a focus on nutritional supplementation, a crucial tool to create a safety net for malnutrition in these regions, the program’s primary goal was to increase access to vital vitamins and minerals for 50 million individuals in disadvantaged communities by 2030.
In honor of the initiative’s second anniversary, the business is updating the program to include aid in bridging the nutrient gap through the most fundamental source of all, food including fruits, vegetables, and grains.
“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.
Vitamin and mineral deficiencies, also known as “hidden hunger,” are quite common in underprivileged populations, especially among women and children.
This kind of starvation creeps up on a person over time, with no symptoms until irreparable harm has been done.
The cycle of poverty is frequently exacerbated by a lack of vital vitamins and minerals, which can lead to weak immunity, birth deformities, lower work capacity, learning difficulties, frail health, or failure to develop.
“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.
By addressing both the amount of food required to end world hunger and the quality required to ensure that people have access to key vitamins and minerals, Bayer hopes to strengthen the company’s commitment to food security.
Malnutrition disproportionately impacts vulnerable populations, especially rural communities, women, and girls. The company claims that the initiative it is already undertaking to improve smallholder farmers’ livelihoods clearly overlaps with this.
Although smallholder farmers form the foundation of many food systems, their communities frequently experience starvation and lack access to healthcare.
They will become a crucial target market for The Nutrient Gap Project by building on the already robust infrastructure of the Better Life Farming centers.
A key component of Bayer’s Smallholder Initiative, which seeks to have an impact on 100 million smallholders in low- and middle-income countries by 2030, the Better Life Farming Centers give smallholders in isolated rural areas access to vital agricultural products. These centers are primarily located in Asia Pacific.
Since realizing food security without achieving health equity is impossible, Bayer will lead the growth of services that include access to nutritional solutions and education.