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BMS Marketing Assessment: Taking the findings forward

9 July 2018

The Access to Nutrition Index is a means for companies to benchmark their approach to nutrition against their peers, identify areas for improvement and to take action accordingly. What might be less obvious about the Indexes is that they also serve as an independent source of information for stakeholders interested in monitoring and engaging with the food and beverage industry on nutrition issues. The Indexes are particularly useful for one of ATNF’s critical stakeholders: civil society organisations.

With this in mind, last Thursday 28th June the Access to Nutrition Foundation hosted a Webinar in partnership with 1,000 Days, which examined how we can best move forward with the findings from the BMS Marketing assessment conducted as part of our 2018 Global Index. The webinar was aimed at civil-society organisations and it was promising to see that participants spanned across a diverse range of organisations and institutions.

The BMS Marketing assessment evaluates the marketing practices of the world’s six largest BMS manufacturers. It evaluates their performance by assessing their policy commitments, management systems and disclosure relating to BMS marketing. The sub-ranking also incorporates in-country studies of marketing practices in two countries, for the 2018 Global Index Thailand and Nigeria were selected. During the webinar the results of the BMS Marketing assessment were presented by ATNF’s Senior Advisor, Rachel Crossley and a more general introduction to the Foundation and Global Index was given by Executive Director, Inge Kauer.

In a section of the webinar entitled “Taking the findings forward”, Lucy Sullivan, Executive Director of 1,000 Days, joined us to discuss how the findings can be used most effectively and impactfully, particularly in advocacy work. She highlighted the fact that food and beverage manufacturers have the power to improve nutrition, thus tackling all forms of malnutrition, but they must be held accountable.

“ATNI is very much an evidence and accountability tool, and in our experience we have seen companies take ATNI quite seriously. Companies pay attention to ATNI, they talk about it, and some even celebrate their position in it. For this reason, we really should be using it as a tool to get companies to improve their products, policies and practices.” - Lucy Sullivan, 1,000 Days                                   

One of the main take-aways from the webinar was that it is vital that CSOs and the advocacy community come together and call out the bad, while also acknowledging the good, in an attempt to improve nutrition for all.

Do you have ideas about how you or your organisation can use the findings of our Indexes in your campaigning or advocacy work? We would love to hear your thoughts, please don’t hesitate to reach out to fiona.kirk@accesstonutrition.org if you would like to discuss this with our team. You can download the slides used in the webinar by clicking here.

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

Ministry of Foreign Affairs

Robert Wood Johnson Foundation

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