The SUN Business Network (SBN) is seizing the opportunity of the Tokyo Nutrition for Growth (N4G) Summit to foster the engagement of Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) from low- and middle-income countries. The Nutrition for Growth Summit is a global pledging moment to drive greater action towards ending malnutrition and helping ensure everyone, everywhere can reach their full potential. The N4G process offers a unique opportunity to gather all key stakeholder groups to make SMART (specific, measurable, achievable, relevant, and time-bound) pledges, whose progress will be tracked against the N4G accountability system.
Despite the fact that SMEs handle a major share of food trade in low- and middle-income countries, their contribution to this process, and to global advocacy efforts on nutrition, has remained modest.
SBN has designed a set of commitments to raise awareness of the role of SMEs in nutrition and support the capacity of SMEs to do more for better nutrition.
At the Nutrition for Growth Summit, the SBN will pledge to:
- Recruit over 3,000 SMEs across Africa, Asia, and Latin America by the end of 2024.
- Engage SMEs to sign the N4G Responsible Business Pledge.
- Support multi-stakeholder capacity building of SMEs to provide safe nutritious food.
- Identify sustainable support to SMEs.
These pledges will help governments and other stakeholders to better understand the opportunities to create improved enabling environments for SMEs in nutrition. They will also support SMEs to identify opportunities for providing more nutritious food. By seeking individual commitments from SMEs (pledge 2), SBN hopes to initiate a change in the understanding and perception of the role of SMEs in nutrition.
A multi-stakeholder effort for nutrition
To fully leverage the potential of SMEs from low- and middle-income countries for nutrition, more stakeholders need to play their part, and they should use the N4G Summit to display their contribution. Governments from low- and middle-income countries need to continue their efforts in providing better regulations and fiscal systems that support consumers’ access to healthy affordable food. Their pledges should promote “clear and enforceable regulations and standards for food quality, for food safety, and for food marketing”, “duties and taxes, that promote affordable supplies of nutritious ingredients for both food manufacturers and consumers”, with verified implementation (Harvard Kennedy School: Fueling the Business of Nutrition)
Civil society can hold governments accountable for not only how much money they spend on nutrition, but also on the enabling environment that governments create for better nutrition.
As one of the networks of the SUN Movement, SBN’s goal is to promote multi-stakeholder engagement for better nutrition, and we are committed to playing our part in mobilising SMEs at the Summit.
For any questions on SBN Pledges at the N4G Summit, please contact Laurene Aubert: firstname.lastname@example.org.