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ATNF Newsletter Christmas 2017

Launch of the 2018 Global Access to Nutrition Index and the first US Spotlight Index

The Access to Nutrition Foundation will launch the 2018 Global Access to Nutrition Index, the third Global Index,  in mid-April. It will assess 22 of the world’s largest Food & Beverage manufacturers' nutrition policies, practices and disclosure, as well as the nutritional quality of their products in nine markets around the world. The marketing practices of the world’s largest baby food makers are again assessed too. 

In June 2018, ATNF will publish the first US Spotlight Index. It will rank the ten largest F&B manufacturers in the US: nine that are also in the Global Index plus one other. The Index will score and rate the ten companies on their nutrition policies and practices in the US, with specific attention paid to what they do to offer affordable healthy food to vulnerable consumers, such as children, and the urban and rural poor. 

ATNF explores rolling out new country Indexes - Spotlight on Nigeria

After pilots in Mexico, India and South Africa in 2012, the first full Spotlight Index was published in India in 2016 and will be published bi-annually in future. In 2018, ATNF will publish the first US Spotlight Index. The Foundation is currently exploring opportunities to develop other country-specific Indexes, such as a Nigeria Spotlight Index.

One in three children in Nigeria is stunted, while 33% of Nigerian adults are overweight. The double burden of malnutrition in Nigeria is alarming and with a rapidly growing economy and middle class it is important that the private sector plays its role in ensuring access to adequate foods of high quality. More people are moving to cities; urban lifestyles and work typically change people’s eating habits, often for the worst.

A Nigeria Spotlight Index would provide Nigerian stakeholders with a tool to track Food & Beverage manufacturers' contributions to improving their health through good nutrition.

In September, the Access to Nutrition Foundation visited Abuja and Lagos where it met with many key nutrition stakeholders, such as the SUN Business Network, the Nigeria Heart Foundation, the National Consumer Protection Council, the Centre for the Right to Health and with private sector players and government institutions. 

ATNF conducts in-country assessments of breast-milk substitutes in Thailand & Nigeria - Summary reports to be published early 2018

In late January 2018, ATNF will publish a summary report of its NetCode-based study on Breast-milk Substitute (BMS) marketing practices undertaken in Thailand in the summer of 2017 with Westat. 

In February a second study undertaken in Nigeria in the autumn of 2017 will follow. Together the studies will contribute to the scores of Nestlé SA, Danone, FrieslandCampina, Kraft Heinz, Abbott and RB/Mead Johnson in the BMS sub-ranking of the 2018 Global Index. 

The studies assess whether all companies in each country market their products in line with the International Code of Marketing of Breast-milk Substitutes (the Code), subsequent WHA resolutions and any prevailing stricter local regulations. 

Data is collected using the NetCode Protocol through interviews with mothers and healthcare workers in healthcare facilities, visiting traditional retailers and monitoring online retail sites, reviewing product labels and inserts, various types of promotional and educational material, and monitoring TV, radio and print media as well as companies’ own digital media channels and popular parenting and childcare-focused websites. 

ATNF hopes that all companies included in the studies will use the results to review and improve their marketing practices to bring them into line with the Code. Further, ATNF hopes that the studies will be of value to others who work to protect and promote breastfeeding, and deter inappropriate marketing of Breast-milk Substitutes.  

Increasing impact through expanding ATNF's investor signatories

ATNF engaged extensively with investors during the last quarter of 2017: webinars were organized for investors and, with Boston Common Asset Management, ATNF discussed the India Index in Mumbai with companies and investors after the ACGA Asia Business Dialogue conference.

As 2017 comes to an end, the Access to Nutrition Foundation is pleased to be able to count a number of new investor signatories among its  supporters, including AXA Investments, Schroders, ACTIAM and Nationale Nederlanden (NN). 

ATNF now has more than 60 Investor Signatories with more than US$5 trillion of assets under management. For the full list of Investor signatories or to learn more about how investors can support the mission of ATNF, please click here.

In light of the upcoming launch of both the 2018 Global Access to Nutrition Index and the first US Spotlight Index in 2018, ATNF's Investor Signatories are preparing a collective company engagement process to catalyze improvements in practice among companies they invest in based on Index outcomes and recommendations.

ATNF in the Spotlight: Outreach activities 

Over the last few months, ATNF was invited to speak at various gatherings. We were honored to join the panel at the 2017 SUN Movement Global Gathering hosted by Ivory Coast in November, which brought together more than 1,000 representatives from civil society, private sector, governments and academi

The Vice-President of Côte d’Ivoire clearly highlighted that “malnutrition, be it undernutrition or obesity, is an alarming public health problem and real global concern. It is at the heart of the problem of fighting extreme poverty, and an important dimension of social and human development.”  

ATNF joined the panel during the workshop to debate “How can different stakeholders in nutrition develop impact and trust by working together”. The theme for this panel was the emphasis on the importance of building trust between sectors to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals. During her presentation, Inge Kauer emphasized the importance of doing the groundwork by investing time and resources in getting to know each other.

The UNICEF office for The Netherlands organized a conference in early December on the impact of marketing on children’s rights. 

UNICEF’s view is that the Convention on the Rights of the Child provides the basis for children’s-rights focused approach to responsible marketing. Using such an approach, business actors should refrain from marketing unhealthy food to children. 

ATNF spoke during this conference and presented the opportunities for F&B manufacturers related to marketing and children’s rights. Other speakers were from, among other organizations, WHO Europe, Leiden Law School, the European Advertising Standards Alliance, Ahold Delhaize and Unilever. 

A key topic was the importance of widening the scope of companies’ responsible marketing policies to children up to 16 years old. Another important topic was the importance of developing better tools to track, for instance, the audiences of digital marketing channels. The discussion centered around the appropriate role for industry in consumer education.

ATNF wishes you a happy holiday season. 
We will continue to keep you updated about
the Indexes and events in the New Year.


The Access to Nutrition Index is published by the Access to Nutrition Foundation (ATNF), an independent non-profit organization based in the Netherlands, dedicated to objectively assessing and improving the contribution the private sector makes to addressing global nutrition challenges. The Foundation hosts the Access to Nutrition Index. The aim of ATNI is to encourage companies to both increase access to healthy products and also to responsibly exercise their influence on consumers’ choice and behavior.


For more information please visit

Access to Nutrition Foundation

Arthur van Schendelstraat 500

3511 MH Utrecht

The Netherlands

+31 (0)30 410 09 16


Copyright © |2017| the Access to Nutrition Foundation

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