The social problem
nI recent years there has been an increase in the risk of malnutrition among the population of Caldas. Indicators such as low birth weight increased from 5.9% in 2008 to 6.3% in 2009, at the same time, the general malnutrition (weight/age) of children under 5 was 7.4% and their risk of malnutrition was 23.3%. At a national level, observed chronic malnutrition was 13.2% in 2010 and household food insecurity was 42.7% in 2010.
Malnutrition is the first step in a series of social problems as it leads to lack of concentration at school, higher dropout rates and reduced productivity at work.
oodF fortification offers an effective solution to malnutrition issues. We use a type of food that is already massively consumed, the panela (sugar cane), in order to reach the most vulnerable people with the micronutrients they need. This means it is possible to improve their nutrition conditions without changing their diet and, in our model, without increasing the price a family has to pay to have a block of panela. In addition, the Social Business supports the traditional panela sector by creating an “Alianza Productiva” (Productive Partnership) training, coaching and supporting the rural “trapiches aliados” (partnering mills) to produce more efficiently while complying with health and national quality standards.
Fortified panela contains 7 micronutrients that have been selected based on recommendations made by experts from Royal DSM, a Dutch company and world leader in food fortification, which has already designed a few pre-mixtures for the Colombian market. A pilot has been conducted with successful results (70% success) using a “pre-mix” containing the following micronutrients: B1, B2 (Riboflavin), B3 (Niacin), B9 (Acid Folic), B12, Zinc and Iron.