Online Alumni Lecture
The Private Sector and Global Nutrition: Are Businesses Heroes or Villains?
The University of Reading was delighted to host the second event in our inspirational Alumni Lecture, which took place online on Wednesday 18 November and featured alumnus Dr Lawrence Haddad (BSc Food Science and Food Economics, 1980).
Lawrence is a British economist who has forged an influential career in food, agriculture and nutrition. He is currently Executive Director of the Global Alliance for Improved Nutrition (GAIN). In 2018 Lawrence was co-recipient of the prestigious World Food Prize for "extraordinary intellectual and policy leadership in bringing maternal and child nutrition to the forefront of the global food security agenda and thereby significantly reducing childhood stunting".
1 in 3 people globally are malnourished. If we keep doing what we are doing, we will fall far short of the global goals the world has set for 2030. How to change the dynamic? One glaring gap is the public sector's failure to engage the private sector properly to help advance nutrition. Most people buy their food, even in poorer countries, and in doing so they are engaging the private sector. So ignoring businesses is not an option. But engaging them sensibly is also not easy. Which companies, in which circumstances, and for which population groups? How do maximise positives and avoid negatives? Businesses are part of the problem of malnutrition, but also have to be a bigger part of the solution. This talk outlines some of the ways to stimulate this transition of the private sector from sometime villains to frequent heroes.
Attendees had the opportunity to put questions to Lawrence in a live Q&A at the end of the event!