BASF is the world’s leading chemical company: The Chemical Company. Its portfolio ranges from chemicals, plastics, performance products and crop protection products to oil and gas. BASF combines economic success, social responsibility and environmental protection. Through science and innovation it enables customers in almost all industries to meet the current and future needs of society. Products and system solutions contribute to conserving resources, ensuring healthy food and nutrition and helping to improve the quality of life. BASF has summed up this contribution in its corporate purpose: BASF creates chemistry for a sustainable future.
Social responsibility is a core element of the company’s strategy. Within BASF’s Nutrition & Health division, the improvement of the nutrition, health and wellbeing of consumers all over the world is a main goal. BASF is driven by a desire to make real, sustainable improvements to people’s lives. Micronutrient fortification is one of the best investments in human development.
As one of the largest producers of micronutrients, such as Vitamin A, BASF is contributing to the fight against micronutrient deficiency. Two billion people in developing and transitioning countries suffer from a lack of micronutrients such as vitamins and minerals in their diet. Among the consequences of such micronutrient deficiency are night blindness, higher infant, child and maternal mortality as well as a weakened immune system.
In 2008, BASF initiated the Strategic Alliance for the Fortification of Oil and Other Staple Foods (SAFO) in collaboration with the Deutsche Gesellschaft für InternationaleZusammenarbeit (GIZ) on behalf of the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ). The development partnership was set up with the aim of securing sufficient vitamin A intake to at least 100 million people in developing and emerging countries. As of early 2012, SAFO was operational in Bolivia, Indonesia, and Tanzania.
SAFO has already achieved its goal: More than 150 million people with malnutrition now have access to vitamin A-fortified cooking oil. The success of the initiative is based on its systemic approach, working with all stakeholders at country level to create the political, technical, commercial and public health framework conditions for food fortification.
This WBCSD case study (available in pdf format for download below) examines the initiative’s approach and achievements. It includes the example of Tanzania to show how SAFO is implemented at the country level.