NIGERIA – Technoserve, under its Strengthening African Processors of Fortified Foods Project (SAPFF) has embarked on trainin Nigerian food processors on Holistic Margin Management (HMM).

Organised under the SAPFF initiative sponsored by the Bill &Melinda Gates Foundation, the training aims at driving compliance in the fortification of processed food products and to help processors address issues fuelling non-compliance.

“We provide market-based solutions to help increase the fortifying of food-based products in Nigeria and across Africa. We are hoping that learning of the HMM tools can help improve compliance with food fortification.

“If the processors deal with the issues affecting their bottom line, this will allow them to commit more to food fortification. We want to ensure that every processor runs a competitive business,” said Larry Umunna, Country Director, Technoserve.

Umunna, pointed out that processors ought to comply with fortification requirements as well as communicate regularly to the consumers.

Eviano Useh, from Partners in Food Solutions and the training facilitator stated that HMM focuses on eliminating non-value components from a customer’s perspective and reinvesting the reinvesting the interest in value creating opportunities.

He identified waste elimination and capturing value as the key enablers for HMM, noting that food fortification an integral practise that processors should not ignore.

“With the adoption of HMM, principal processors would be able to mitigate and minimise the impact of the cost of fortification,” he said.

Useh, who is also the Global Finance Director – Global Procurement, General Mills highlighted that fortification by itself should not automatically translate to higher cost for the consumer or the processors.

“The HMM principles are embedded in the culture of major global food processors and their investments in fortification has not incurred an additional cost because of effective management of HMM and this should also help the Nigerian processors,” he said.

He stressed that HMM has helped major global processors fortify, revamp and enhance their product line without incurring any additional cost in the process.

However, Nino Ozara, Manufacturing Director, Honey Well Flour Mills Plc noted that “Premixes cost a lot because they are imported and the added issues of logistics, ports congestions and demurrages that are associated with it.”

According to a report by Independent, most food products found in the Nigerian market have less than the specified quantity of nutritional requirements, or none.

This is despite the pledge by major food processors in the country to fortify their products with essential micro nutrients.

However, experts attribute the non-compliance to fortification by food processors to the high cost of premixes micronutrients needed for fortification which according to them translates to higher production costs.