Global Index

India Spotlight Index

India Spotlight Index

G. Engagement findings

Key findings

  • Scores on Category G are the lowest of any category in the 2016 India Spotlight Index. While the companies assessed demonstrate varying levels of stakeholder engagement, overall there are opportunities to better structure and advance the dialogues between companies and key stakeholders on nutrition topics.
  • Nestlé India is the leader with a score of 5.2 out of 10. Both publicly and upon engagement, the company disclosed various activities related to engaging with regulators and expert groups on nutrition issues, including consulting them on how to strengthen its own nutrition strategy. Notably, Nestlé India provides more disclosure in this area than its parent company for the 2016 Global Index. Nestlé India is the only company in this Index that provided commentary on collaboration with external experts to enhance its product fortification strategy.
  • Coca-Cola India and Hindustan Unilever rank second and third respectively. They provide narratives about the experts they engage and the focus of their engagement, which typically relates to their commercial strategies.
  • Mondelez India ranks fourth for its commitment to structure its engagement activities according to the AA1000 standard, in line with its parent company’s commitment. However, the company has not disclosed actual engagement activities designed to enhance its nutrition strategy with experts or organizations in India. 
  • PepsiCo India and Britannia Industries rank fifth and sixth respectively. Both companies, upon engagement, provided some relevant evidence on how they use feedback from nutrition experts.
  • Ruchi Soya, Parle Products and Amul neither publicly reported their activities in this area nor did they provide commentary through feedback to ATNF during the engagement process. Upon engagement, Mother Dairy states that it has been engaging policymakers as well as industry for many decades to advance national product fortification policies.

Key recommendations

  • When requested, be available to engage with policymakers and policymaking bodies in support of preventing and addressing obesity and dietrelated chronic diseases: Food and beverage companies play a significant role in the lives of millions of consumers across India by providing numerous food and beverage choices on a daily basis. As such, they are in a position to contribute to a wider discussion on nutrition at the public policy level by sharing expertise, know-how and other valuable resources.
  • Engage external experts on nutrition and undernutrition: Companies should engage systematically with expert organizations specializing in nutrition in India to formulate and evolve their business strategies and solicit feedback on their performance on nutrition. This would allow companies to better understand and respond to local perspectives.
  • Increase transparency: Those companies that have not yet started disclosing their stakeholder engagement activities should do so. Companies are encouraged to be transparent about who they engage, how, why and the results of such activities. The public would benefit from understanding the role and the competency of selected organizations/experts the companies engage with. In addition, greater transparency would address perceived conflicts of interest and enhance the companies’ trustworthiness.

Improving nutrition for all

The Access to Nutrition Index rates food and beverage manufacturers´ nutrition-related policies, practices and disclosures worldwide on a recurring basis.

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Funders

Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation

Wellcome Trust

CIFF

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