Food Safety, Nutrition, Nestlé in the SpotlightBy Sofía Hanna | Thu, 06/10/2021 - 16:09
This week Mexico’s food safety authority implemented the second stage of its food safety and nutrition program. Meanwhile, food giant Nestlé is facing criticism after an Australian health board questioned the nutritional value of its products.
Interested in more? Here are the week's major headlines in Agribusiness & Food!
- The Mexican Food Safety Agency (SEGALMEX), with the help of the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development (SADER), implemented the second stage of the Training Model in Food Orientation on June 9. The model aims to promote the adoption of healthier diets and habits and to contribute to the development of skills, attitudes, and eating practices that favor the adoption of a healthy diet in the individual and family, explains SADER. The program is for beneficiaries of the Rural Supply Program (PAR) of Diconsa. Unicef had urged Mexico to take highly necessary measures to address the deterioration of health and nutrition of its population, which were further worsened due to the COVID-19 pandemic. This effect was more pronounced in girls and boys in households with lower income and whose nutritional and health status was already poor. According to Unicef, the economic crisis caused by the loss of employment and the income reduction that were a direct result of the COVID-19 pandemic will further intensify the vulnerability of households. These effects are expected to be felt mainly by the population that already lived in poverty and food deprivation. Therefore, explains the organization, these groups should receive priority attention.
- ProducePay, an agribusiness startup, aims to provide growers and distributors with financing through a platform with transparent information that will ultimately serve as a marketplace. Founded in 2014 by CEO Pablo Borquez Schwarzbeck, ProducePay ultimately aims to bring together a fragmented marketplace spread across a vast geographic area. Its Preferred Network fosters profitable long-term partnerships in which growers receive better pricing and distributors have access to consistent product supply. There is an attractive potential market for this service as, for example, agribusiness trade between Mexico and the US reached approximately US$52.9 billion in 2020 alone, according to data from the Ministry of Economy.
- Nestlé, one of the largest food companies in the world with more than 2,000 brands, recently recognized that more than 60 percent of its drinks and food products do not meet recognized standards of healthy foods. The company acknowledges that some of its products will never be healthy no matter how much these products are renovated. The company was examined under Australia's Health Star Rating system. Only 37 percent of Nestlé’s food and beverages by revenues achieved a score over 3.5 under the rating system. The score obtained by the food company alarms the health industry, especially with health issues such as diabetes and obesity rates climbing steadily.