On March 5, when the Global Child Nutrition Foundation held its A Possible Dream Gala in Washington, GCNF supporters were introduced to a new sponsor – the French company Nutriset, which specializes in nutritional products that prevent and treat moderate and severe malnutrition and acute diarrhea in populations at risk.

Known for developing Plumpy’nut®, the first highly fortified ready-to-use therapeutic food (RUTF) for the treatment of severe acute malnutrition, Nutriset is also working to prevent malnutrition in children in developing countries, such as Niger where almost half of all children suffer from stunted growth and 10 percent experience acute malnutrition.  To call attention to this challenge, each guest at the GCNF Gala received a sachet of the nutritional supplement Grandibien®, which literally means “grow well.” Developed in collaboration with the Société de Transformation Alimentaire (STA), Nutriset’s Nigerian partner, Grandibien® is a chocolate-tasting ready-to-use nutritional paste that is readily affordable to low-income families and provides 50% of the daily vitamin and mineral needs of children ages 1 to 5 years.

Nutriset’s sponsorship of the A Possible Dream Gala is part of the company’s commitment to support President Obama’s Feed the Future initiative and specifically the goal of expanding market-based agriculture and infrastructure development in developing countries. Towards this end, Nutriset is sharing the lessons learned from its PlumpyField® Network, which demonstrate the impact on developing countries when international corporations share their industrial know-how and patented technology through partnerships with local manufacturers. Created in 2005, the PlumpyField® Network now consists of 11 private companies that act as franchisees to produce and distribute Plumpy’nut® and other Nutriset products (Plumpy’Sup®, Plumpy’doz® and Nutributter®) in their regions, using local infrastructure and local ingredients.  In the U.S., the PlumpyField® Network is represented by Edesia Global Nutrition Solutions, a non-profit organization based in Rhode Island that supplies Plumpy’nut® and other Nutriset RUF products to humanitarian organizations and USAID.  Edesia and MFK, the Haiti-based Nutriset partner, were also present at the event.

“The PlumpyField® partnership has created a spirit of cooperation and communication, encouraging experience sharing between members, and the pooling of solutions,” said Ms. Isabelle Lescanne, a member of the board of directors of Nutriset. “The sharing of lessons learned has instilled confidence in network members and given them a degree of ownership to tackle malnutrition in their respective countries and sub-regions. Now, our hope is to collaborate with the Global Child Nutrition Foundation and other U.S.-based leaders in the global health and nutrition community so the experiences from the PlumpyField® network can be applied widely to accelerate the expansion of sustainable production systems around the world.”

The following are the current members of PlumpyField® and the dates when they joined the network:

Nutriset – France, founding member

STA – Niger, 2005

Hilina Enriched Foods – Ethiopia, 2006

JAM – Mozambique, 2007

Vitaset – Dominican Republic, 2008

Edesia – United States, 2009

Amwili – Democratic Republic of Congo, 2009

Power Foods Industries – Tanzania, 2009

JB/Tanjaka Food – Madagascar, 2009

MFK – Haiti, 2010

Nutrivita Foods – India, 2010

Innofaso – Burkina Faso, 2011

Samil – Sudan, 2011

Reco Industries – Uganda, 2011

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