In 2010, the Scaling Up Nutrition (SUN) Movement was launched to support national leadership and collective action to scale up nutrition. The SUN Business Network (SBN) is one of the four global networks that support SUN countries (along with UN, Civil Society and Donor Networks). It is convened by the Global Alliance for Improved Nutrition (GAIN) and the UN World Food Programme (WFP) and further supported by an Advisory Group comprised of senior business leaders.

The SBN aims to reduce malnutrition in all its forms through mobilising business to invest and innovate in responsible and sustainable actions and operations. To do this SBN provides a neutral platform to broker partnerships and collaboration between business and all actors on nutrition at national, regional and global level to support SUN Country plans. We believe that when consumers demand improved nutrition, business will act, and national economies will grow.

SBN’s three main objectives are: 

  1. Mobilising business to contribute to reduce malnutrition in all forms
  2. Making nutrition more aspirational, accessible, affordable and available to the consumer
  3. Building the case for greater business engagement in nutrition amongst all stakeholders

It is the only dedicated global platform for business and nutrition, with more than 300 members, including both multinational and national companies committing to improved nut

Which companies are part of the SBN and which ones can join the SBN?


The SBN does not allow membership for companies which do not adhere to the International Code on Breast-milk substitutes. The Access to Nutrition Index scores companies on their compliance in relation to the Code, and the SBN uses this to guide its decision on which companies can join the network.


What are its principles of engagement?

  • Businesses should support and respect the protection of internationally proclaimed human rights; and make sure that they are not complicit in human rights abuses.
  • Businesses should comply with UN guidance on health and nutrition, with a specific mention of the International Code on Marketing of Breast Milk Substitutes and World Health Assembly resolutions related to Maternal, Infant and Young Child Nutrition.
  • Businesses should uphold the freedom of association and the effective recognition of the right to collective bargaining.
  • Businesses should uphold the elimination of all forms of forced and compulsory labour; the effective abolition of child labour; and the elimination of discrimination in respect of employment and occupation.
  • Businesses should support a precautionary approach to environmental challenges; undertake initiatives to promote greater environmental responsibility; and encourage the development and diffusion of environmentally friendly technologies.
  • Businesses should work against corruption in all its forms, including extortion and bribery.
  • Members of SBN and their subsidiaries cannot engage in the production of armaments, tobacco or pornography.
  • Global Members should support Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) or National SBNs through technical assistance initiatives.
  • Businesses should support targeted actions and/or policies to address malnutrition in all its forms, including addressing overweight, obesity and diet-related Non-Communicable Diseases.
  • Businesses should support workplace nutrition commitments, including breastfeeding support.


Where is the SUN Business Network present? and How does the SBN work at country level? 


The SBN is supporting over 30 SUN Countries, 18 of which by 2018 report the development of a National SBN. At national level, SBNs work on three key activities

  1. Convene: National SBNs organise regular national multi-stakeholder meetings designed to: a) sensitise business to the SUN Government’s nutrition strategy and to the opportunities of investing in nutrition and b) sensitise government, civil society, donors and UN Agencies to the potential for partnering with business, and to the enabling environment challenges businesses face in investing in nutrition.
  2. Assess and facilitate partnerships: The SBN will survey business for the opportunities and challenges they face around technical assistance, business development, enabling environment and finance in order to facilitate links with providers of support in these areas at national and if relevant at global level, via the SBN Global Team. The SBN Ethiopia will select key value chains to assess these opportunities for stimulating business action and investment to grow and expand their product portfolios.
  3. Evidence informed advocacy: National SBNs draw upon research, case studies and tools to advise business and other stakeholders around the adoption of public-private partnerships and improvements in the enabling environment which can spur further action and investment from business in nutrition.

These three key activities support the capacity of business to act and invest in nutrition and identify improvements in the enabling environment which if addressed, create awareness and drive consumer demand for nutritious product categories, especially among low income consumers.


How is the SUN Business Network contributing to the prevention and management of conflict of interest in nutrition planning and programming?


The SBN has developed a whistleblower mechanism so that any members of the SUN Movement can report on allegations that SBN members have violated the SBN’s principles of engagement. All allegations can be made to Laurene Aubert at laubert@gainhealth.org

rition throughout the world.


Updated 18th September 2018