Top food product manufacturer, Crown Flour Mill Limited, a subsidiary of Olam Group, has committed to deliver Nigeria’s first state-of-the-art vitamin premix facility. The delivery is in line with the 90% food fortification compliance target set at the penultimate edition of the Nigerian Food Processing and Nutrition Leadership Forum. The food manufacturer made this known at the 3rd annual gathering of the top players in the food industry in the country, held virtually on Thursday, 3 December 2020.
Speaking at the forum on the firm’s commitment to participate in the Micronutrient Fortification Index (MFI), Mr Ashish Pande, Managing Director, Crown Flour Mill Limited, said, “Crown Flour Mills has established a state-of-the-art vitamin premix facility in Nigeria with technical support from the international nonprofit TechnoServe, under the Strengthening African Processors of Fortified Foods program. The goal is to prepare vitamin premix according to the regulatory requirement of the Standards Organisation of Nigeria (SON) and to supply Crown Flour plants with high quality and food-safe vitamin premix. This is the first-ever by any flour miller in Nigeria.”
“Improving the Food fortification levels of staple foods is one agenda that we are utterly committed to at Olam Grains. Sustainability is one of the key enablers of our operational strategy. It is at the heart of our business’s drive to reimagine global agriculture and food systems. Providing access to nutrition which enables Nigerians to live healthy and productive lives, therefore sits at the core of our purpose as a business.”
Wheat flour, edible oil, cooking salt and sugar formed the core target for fortification at the forum. All participants at the forum, therefore, emphasized their commitment to meeting and scaling the grand target to ensure that the over 180 million Nigerian population can access fortified foods that will aid their physical and mental development.
Going forward, a sustainability framework aimed at enforcing compliance through strict regulation and monitoring has been set up. These include industry-led self-regulation through the Micronutrient Fortification Index (MFI), Joint Regulatory Framework (JRF), and Governance and Accountability Strategy (GAS).
TechnoServe’s West Africa Regional Director, Larry Umunna, highlighted that “If Nigeria is really serious about creating jobs, expanding its markets and growing its economy, nutrition and food systems should be put in the centre of the conversation.”
The forum, convened by the Aliko Dangote Foundation, in collaboration with TechnoServe and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, had in attendance His Excellency Prof. Yemi Osinbajo, the Vice President of Nigeria; Otunba Niyi Adebayo, Minister of Industry, Trade and Investment; Dr Osagie Ehanire, Minister of Health; CEOs of top food manufacturers, chairs of national and global food regulatory agencies, and representatives of not-for-profit organisations; Bill Gates, the co-founder of Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation(BMGF); Aliko Dangote, Chairman of the Aliko Dangote Foundation; Rizwan Yusufali, Regional Programme Director of SAPFF at TechnoServe; Ipsit Chakrabarti, Managing Director, PZ; Farouk Salim, Director-General, Standards Organisation of Nigeria; Prof. Moji Adeyeye, Director-General, NAFDAC; William Warshauer, President and CEO of TechnoServe; John Coumantaros, Chairman of Flour Mills of Nigeria, and Ashish Pande amongst other Captains of industries and senior representatives BMGF, ADF, GAIN (Global Alliance for Improved Nutrition), and TechnoServe, all partners in Food Solutions.