AKP Phnom Penh, The Royal Government of Cambodia (RGC) and the World Food Programme (WFP) launched here yesterday the SUN Business Network Cambodia (SBN Cambodia) which brings together some of the most forward-thinking private businesses in the food sector to accelerate progress in nutrition across Cambodia.

According to joint press release, the network has been established by the Council for Agricultural and Rural Development (CARD) with support from the WFP to encourage collaboration and mutual support between the private sector, business associations, government, civil society and development partners to sustainably contribute to healthy diets and practices. Twenty businesses have already signed up to the SBN Cambodia as founding members.

About 100 participants from the above institutions attended the launching event to discuss how the private sector can contribute to reducing malnutrition and improving sustainable food system through the realisation of the five strategic pillars of the SBN vision. These include developing a strong SBN brand, increasing nutrition awareness and demand, increasing the supply of nutritious foods and fortified products, strengthening the enabling environment for improved nutrition and promoting health and nutrition in communities and the workplace.

Indeed, despite Cambodia’s economic gains in recent years, malnutrition is still a lingering burden with about 9 percent of women and 2 percent of children under five obese, 10 percent of children under five wasted and 32 percent stunted in 2014.

“We’re proud of the progress made in the last decade in improving nutrition, especially for women and children,” said H.E. Sok Silo, Secretary General of CARD.

“However, there is still much we need to do before we can finally end malnutrition. Cambodian businesses have an indispensable role in improving the quality of the food available to Cambodians, and we hope the launch of this SUN Business Network, alongside our continued support of the private sector, will show how much we value that role,”

he added.

SBN Cambodia is a major new milestone for the country in its support of the global Scaling Up Nutrition (SUN) movement with the goal of realising a world free from malnutrition by 2030. It recognises the crucial role that the private sector can play in improving nutrition while contributing to sustainable and economic development.

“We are grateful that the Government established this network and look forward to working with the existing and future founding members. said Ms. Claire Conan, WFP’s representative in Cambodia. “We believe that improving the nutritional content of food products is a win-win for the consumer and the business since offering improved nutrition creates opportunities for businesses to differentiate themselves and increase sales and profits”.

“I believe the SBN will generate lots of new ideas and connections while educating the public about the importance of nutrition. This will generate higher demand,” said Leang Leng, the owner of an eponymous fish and soy sauce producer and one of SBN Cambodia’s founding members.

Source: Agency Kampuchea Press

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