09 december 2006
DSM unlocks the Bottom of the Pyramid with nutrients
With its Nutrition Improvement Program DSM intends to eliminate the so-called hidden hunger in the world: the malnutrition among the four billion people at the Bottom of the Pyramid, which annually leads to an estimated loss of six billion USD in adult work performance. Improving nutrition has a strong impact on the general health and thus on the working capacity of people. DSM Nutritional Products Ltd produces vitamins and other nutrients, and has in-house research and development facilities. Focusing on Africa, China and India, DSM provides technical and scientific assistance to programs that fortify staple foods with vitamins and minerals. Fortifying staple foods like flour, oil and sugar is a very effective and socially well accepted way of reducing micronutrient deficiencies, because it does not involve a change in food habits.
By developing the market for these nutritional products, jointly with governments and NGOs, DSM intends to combine poverty reduction with a secure long term market position. At the moment this project has a turnover of 32 million USD a year, with an expected growth to 100 million USD by the year 2011. According to Bruno Kistner, the Nutrition Improvement Program is just a start in unlocking the market at the Bottom of the Pyramid. "In the long run these four billion people living on or under the poverty line may become our clients," he said.
For three consecutive years DSM has been heading the Dow Jones Sustainability World Index. However, it is hard to establish the link between corporate sustainability performance and profitability, as was explained by Kees Cools, executive advisor with The Boston Consulting Group and Professor of Corporate Finance at the University of Groningen (Netherlands). "Overall, CSR is a hygiene factor. Ignoring CSR destroys value, but implementing it does not necessarily create value. CSR-investments can create value provided that they are real and not cosmetic, and that projects generate value for both the company and stakeholders in the long term."
P+ Webtip: DSM nutrients