Approximately 805 million people around the world are starving. Extreme poverty, rapid population growth, climate change and shrinking resources are a few of the crucial factors threatening global food security.

It is estimated that by 2050 the world’s population will have grown to more than nine billion people, meaning food production will have to increase by as much as 70% in order to feed the world.

Big businesses recognize the importance of fighting global hunger. As a result, a few major companies are leading efforts to improve global food security.


Amway, a leader in the nutrition and vitamin market, launched the Nutrilite Power of 5 Campaign to raise awareness of childhood malnutrition.

The company developed Nutrilite Little Bits, a micronutrient supplement that provides impoverished children with the key nutrients and vitamins often missing from their diets.

The Nutrilite Power of 5 Campaign has provided Nutrilite Little Bits to thousands of children in 11 countries since its inception in 2014.

Amway has committed to providing five million Nutrilite Little Bits by the end of 2016. This act has the potential to benefit more than 14,000 malnourished children.

General Mills

Food giant, General Mills, pledged to work closely with smallholder farmers in developing economies to sustainably source 100% of their top ten priority ingredients by 2020.

“We know that when farmers have the knowledge and resources for their farms and families to thrive, the benefits accrue well beyond the individual and extend to the community and societal levels,” said General Mills Foundation Associate Director Nicola Dixon.

General Mills wants its farmers to produce enough to feed their families and generate an income while raising the living standards in their communities. Millions have already benefited from the company’s work.


Cargill, one of the world’s largest food and agriculture businesses, committed to providing more than $13 million in grants through a broad set of programs focused on food security, sustainability and nutrition.

The grants will be focused on promoting sustainable agricultural practices, improving market access and productivity for farmers, supporting childhood nutrition and education and advancing healthy diets and preventing diet-related health issues in low-income communities.

“The private sector can be a catalyst for lasting change by jumpstarting innovation and economic development,” said Ruth Rawling, Cargill’s vice president of corporate affairs.

One of the grant recipients is CARE USA, which has partnered with Cargill for over 25 years to combat poverty and long-term hunger among some of the world’s most vulnerable communities.

Cargill’s grants are expected to benefit more than one million people in 15 countries.

Global food security is one of the most dire issues facing the world. One’s ability to feed themselves is directly correlated to their productivity and ability to earn a living.

There is great potential to vastly reduce poverty, increase incomes for the world’s poor and expand the world’s consumer base as big businesses further their investment in global food security.

Sara Christensen

Photo: Flickr

Big Business: Promoting Unhealthy Lifestyles

As our world works towards the eradication of all infectious diseases we have seen a rise in non-communicable diseases such as obesity, cancer, and COPD. These unhealthy lifestyles are promoted by big businesses that sell items such as unhealthy foods and tobacco. Margaret Chan, the Director-General of the World Health Organization (WHO) said, “Economic growth, modernization, and urbanization have opened wide the entry point for the spread of unhealthy lifestyles.” The efforts to regulate unhealthy lifestyles are not in the interest of most big businesses.

Big businesses are able to lobby for favorable policies in the government. They use tactics such as front groups, promises of self-regulation, and lawsuits to shift the focus away from the unhealthy lifestyles they are promoting. These businesses also gift and give grants to worthy causes to look admirable in the public eye. The main tactic these businesses use is the argument that an individual is responsible for their own health, and that the government has no right to interfere with a person’s free choice.

“This is formidable opposition. Market power readily translates into political power, few governments prioritize health over big business. As we learned from experience with the tobacco industry, a powerful corporation can sell the public just about anything,” stated Dr. Chan.

Dr. Chan is most concerned about two recent trends that have emerged. The first is governments being taken to court over measures to protect the health of their citizens. We saw this happen recently in New York City where the law regulating soda size was deemed illegal by the court. The second trend is industries having influence in shaping “public health policies and strategies that affect their products.” Dr. Chan argues, “When industry is involved in policy-making, rest assured that the most effective control measures will be downplayed or left out entirely. This, too, is well documented, and dangerous.” Dr. Chan urges governments to keep big businesses out of health policy formation because it only distorts the real issues. Dr. Chan and the WHO are working diligently on identifying and pursuing processes that limit big businesses in public health decision-making.

– Catherine Ulrich

Source: UN News
Photo: Los Angeles