Dangote Sugar Refinery Plc has won an award in food fortification, following its ranking as the leading company with significant strides in institutionalising large-scale best practices.
The company made this known in a statement signed by Mr Francis Awowole-Browne, Media and Communications Officer, Dangote Industries Limited, and issued to newsmen in Lagos on Monday.
The award was presented at the 4th Annual CEO Forum of Food Processing & Nutrition Leadership event organised collaboratively by TechnoServe; Aliko Dangote Foundation (ADF) and Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation in Lagos.
According to the statement, Dangote sugar was named among four other companies with substantial compliance in four food categories.
President of Dangote Group, Alhaji Aliko Dangote, is quoted as noting that food fortification is a health issue that members of the forum were committed to ensuring health compliance with, in the interest of nutritional health of Nigerians.
He recalled that the forum had proposed periodical convergence to assess compliance levels and expressed happiness that the report for 2022 was an improvement on the previous one.
Dangote urged members of the forum to double their efforts to shore up compliance in the area where it was still below expectation.
He assured that there would be no going back in achieving full micronutrient fortification compliance, especially in the pandemic era, to mitigate the effects of the virus.
Giving the report of milestones and compliance trends covered by the forum in 2021, Mr Dominic Schofield of TechnoServe, said that 14 companies covering 31 brands had joined the Micronutrient Fortification Index (MFI) ranking for wheat flour, edible oil, sugar and salt.
The essence of the MFI ranking, Schofield explained, was to enable members of the public to have access to information about the fortification of the four staple foods and help encourage companies to meet their fortification targets.
“The recent implementation of pandemic-related border controls has enabled industrially-processed edible oil producers, adequately fortifying, to capture an increased market share and ensure wider consumer reach.
“The wheat flour sector demonstrably attempted to sustain compliance levels over the last year.
“Disrupted access to good quality Vitamin A, however, continues to pose a risk to good performance.
“With the promise of renewed focus; with opportunities to innovate in business processes and digitalization that better integrate food fortification and foster trust, and with the commitment and collective action on the part of all food fortification stakeholders, Nigerian processors can get back to the levels of optimal compliance achieved prior to the pandemic,” he said.
According to the statement, private sector operators in the food processing industries as well as government regulating agencies pledged commitment to achieving optimal levels in food fortification compliance.
This, they said, was pertinent with the mounting nutritional challenges facing millions of Nigerians, especially in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic