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Mother Dairy Ranks Number One In Providing Healthy Products

Food and beverage companies in India are falling far short of what they need to do to help fight malnutrition, says ATNF report

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Mother Dairy is ranked as number one food and beverage company in India with the healthiest product portfolio in 2016, according to an industry report.

Second on the list is Nestle India, which is rated highly for its strong policies, practices and disclosures on nutrition and under-nutrition details.

The two companies were under scrutiny last year over the quality of some of their products.

The top nine rankings were assessed by an extensive research by the Netherlands-based The Access to Nutrition Foundation (ATNF). It found that food and beverage companies in India are falling far short of what they need to do to help fight malnutrition.

After a series of tests by the Uttar Pradesh Food Safety and Drug Administration and other laboratories it was found that Nestle's Maggi Noodles had excess lead and MSG content in violation of national food regulations.

Similarly, the Uttar Pradesh food regulator found detergent in one sample packet of Mother Dairy milk.

Therefore, Nestle and Mother Dairy's latest good industry ranking shows that the two companies have now improved their compliance with quality standards.

However, as per the report, despite having the strongest nutrition and under-nutrition-related commitments and policies, Nestle India scored the second lowest for nutrition qualities of its products among all the companies assessed under the India Access to Nutrition Spotlight Index.

"India faces the serious and escalating double burden of malnutrition, with a large undernourished population, as well as growing numbers of overweight and obese people who are developing chronic diseases," said Inge Kauer, executive director of ATNF.

Key findings of the first India Spotlight Index are that most of India's largest F&B manufacturers make strategic commitments to grow their businesses by focusing on health and nutrition and demonstrate some good practices.

However, the aggregate picture is that the sector has a long way to go if it is to make a significant difference to India's nutrition challenges in line with global standards.

The companies in the report were judged on a scale of zero to 10. The leading companies on the corporate profile – Nestle India and Hindustan Unilever – with scores of 7.1 and 6.7 respectively – have done better than the seven other companies assessed.

Mother Dairy, Hindustan Unilever and Amul, on the other hand, sell the largest proportion of healthy products among the Index companies.

Mother Dairy scored 5.6 out of 10, Hindustan Unilever scored 4.6 and Amul scored 4.4.

"Food and beverage manufacturers in India have the potential, and the responsibility, to be part of the solution to this double burden of malnutrition," Kauer said.

India is home to the largest number of stunted children in the world - 48 million under the age of 5 - while at the same time, childhood obesity is reaching alarming proportions.

The obesity prevalence rate reached 22% in children and adolescents aged between 5 to 19 years over the last five years, the report said.

The index assessed the 10 largest food and beverage manufacturers, including Britannia, Coca-Cola India, Mondelez International, Parle Products, PepsiCo India, and Ruchi Soya.

In addition four more companies - Adani Wilmar, Cargill, ITC and Karnataka Cooperative Milk Federation that make and fortify dairy, oil and wheat products were approached for sharing knowledge on their fortification activities.

ATNF is a groundbreaking global initiative that evaluates the largest food and beverage manufacturers on their policies and performances related to the world’s most pressing nutrition challenges: obesity and undernutrition.

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