CFS 45 Side Event

Enriching a Sustainable Food Future

Monday, October 15, 18:00 to 19:30
Lebanon Room, FAO


Fortification is an important part in bridging many countries’ gaps in food security and nutrition policy and contributing to broader success in achieving the SDGs, with a focus on SDG2. It is commonly understood that the SDGs will not be met if “hidden hunger,” or a lack of sufficient vitamins and minerals, is not addressed. When people do get the vital micronutrients they need, the effects are broad and long-lasting: children are healthier, achieve more in school, and are more likely to reach their full potential as adults. In addition to children, micronutrients are particularly essential in the diets of women of reproductive age. 

Panelists discussed the importance of supporting the inclusion of micronutrient fortification in national nutrition plans where there are gaps, with relevant indicators and ways to measure progress. They also demonstrated that voluntary fortification is a cost-effective and sustainable way of helping fight vitamin and mineral deficiencies. Voluntary fortification can contribute to meeting nutritional requirements in targeted and untargeted populations as long as they use specific food vehicles that are consumed regularly, address specific consumers’ demands, contribute to a healthy diet and are affordable to reach the population in need.

Featured Speakers

  • H.E Mohammed Elghazali Eltigani Sirrag, Permanent Representative of Sudan to FAO
  • Steve Godfrey, Global Alliance for Improved Nutrition (GAIN)
  • Lieven Bauwens, International Federation for Spina Bifida and Hydrocephalus (IF)
  • Patrick Detzel, Nestlé 
  • Jenny Walton, HarvestPlus
  • Didier Bonnet, Global Food Research Leader at Cargill

Key Outcomes

  • There is strong evidence and massive health impact when it comes to fortification. Food fortification is a cost-effective and sustainable strategy to reduce the risks related with micronutrient deficiencies. 
  • Biofortification is a key building block for nutritious food systems. Uniting agriculture, health, smallholder farmers, and the food industry, it offers value-added products consumers can afford.
  • The challenge is how to scale it up, how to bring it out to the people who really need it. We need to engage with local companies and governments. Through this, it is important to provide training for those who receive fortified food so they understand the benefits.
  • It is essential to tackle malnutrition, especially in children and women of childbearing age, through fortifying our products in developing countries with added vitamins and minerals.   
  • More public-private research on dietary intake gaps is needed to inform the work in fortifying products to help meet nutritional needs in the developing world. 
  • Working together, we can find new ways to bring more fortified products to individuals and families and promote the benefits of fortified foods. A multi-stakeholder approach led by policy-makers where government can engage industry as a whole will achieve the greatest impact. Multilateral agencies and governments should meaningfully engage key actors along the food supply chain. 


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