WORLD – The Access to Nutrition Foundation (ATNF) has published the 2018 Global Access to Nutrition Index; the third Global Index that ranks the world’s 22 largest food and beverage companies on their contributions to addressing the twin global nutrition challenges of overweight and diet related diseases and under-nutrition.

According to the Foundation, the Index measures companies’ contributions to good nutrition against international norms and standards.

It also includes a separate ranking of the world’s leading manufacturers of breast-milk substitutes (BMS), as well as a newly added Product Profile, which measures the healthiness of companies’ product ranges in nine markets.

For the Global Index 2018, Nestlé topped with above average performance in all of its categories and improvements in most of the others.

FrieslandCampina, a Dutch dairy cooperative, has improved the most since 2016, climbing four places in the ranks largely due to its new strategy on ways to tackle under-nutrition and responsible marketing commitments.

“There is good news and bad. On the one hand, we see evidence that a number of companies are upping their commitments to tackle various aspects of the nutrition challenge, including persistent high levels of under-nutrition in many emerging markets.

They are doing this, for example, by reformulating some products, improving labeling and addressing undernutrition as part of their core business strategies,” said Inge Kauer, Executive Director of the Access to Nutrition Foundation.

“However, the results also show companies need to get better at ‘walking the talk’ and in particular need to set clear and verifiable targets for improving the healthiness of their product ranges.”

As the first-ranked in the 2018 Access to Nutrition Index (ATNI), Nestlé confirms its leadership in nutrition, health and wellness as well as the contribution to tackling the global challenges of obesity and under-nutrition.

Nestlé also ranks second for its marketing of breast milk substitutes.

This reflects Nestlé’s commitment to policies, practices and compliance with the World Health Organization’s International Code of Marketing of Breast Milk Substitutes.

ATNI said that Nestlé’s “overall nutrition governance and management systems are comprehensive, well-structured, transparent and applied globally with a clear accountability structure”.

The index highlights Nestlé’s global Board-approved nutrition strategy, including a comprehensive set of nutrition-related targets that are directly linked to the Sustainable Development Goals.

“We are very pleased with Nestlé’s evaluation by ATNI.

We are firmly committed to contributing to tackle the pressing global challenges of obesity and under-nutrition, in particular children’s nutrition and health,” said Patrice Bula, Executive Vice President, Nestlé S.A.

“Nestlé embarked on this journey many years ago, and the recent announcement of its Nestlé for Healthier Kids initiative is another key milestone.

We will continue to pursue our commitments and take a leading role in nutrition and health,” he continued.

FrieslandCampina has also moved up to a fourth place in the 2018 Access To Nutrition Index.

With this it is the fastest riser compared to 2016.

Every two years, the index tracks the contribution food and beverage manufacturers make to delivering better nutrition worldwide

“We are encouraged by this result and see this as recognition of our efforts to fulfil our purpose nourishing by nature and to provide the world with better nutrition.

We will continue our efforts to put our purpose into action every day.

Being transparent about our products and making these available to everyone are key building blocks in our strategy,” said Hein Schumacher, CEO Royal FrieslandCampina N.V.

The global activities and objectives of FrieslandCampina concerning better nutrition for the world population are reflected in the FrieslandCampina nutrition policy.

This policy describes our basic principles related to a healthier product range, transparent communication and education programmes about a healthy lifestyle.