The India Spotlight Index is modeled on the Global Access to Nutrition Index, which was initially developed over a three-year period (2010 – 2012) through extensive, multistakeholder consultation with companies, governments, international organizations, civil society, academia, and investors. It was guided by advice from an independent, multistakeholder advisory panel and a group of international experts on nutrition, including Dr. Pandav and Dr. Yadav from the All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS).
Following the publication of the first Global Index, ATNF conducted research to explore the feasibility of launching Spotlight Indexes to assess companies in markets with a high double burden of malnutrition – India, Mexico and South Africa. In India the pilot assessment was conducted in 2012 and included the ten largest companies by revenue. The pilot used the Global Index Methodology, adapted where necessary to reflect the local regulatory context. In addition, ATNF undertook a pilot ‘Product Profile’ exercise, to evaluate the nutritional quality of around 50% of all foods and drinks made available for sale by the ten companies. The pilot outcomes were discussed with the companies involved but were not published.
Companies included in the 2012 India Spotlight Index Pilot
After piloting the concept of an India Spotlight Index, ATNF consulted extensively with stakeholders on how the India Spotlight Index should be developed to suit the Indian context. Various companies, industry associations (Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) and The Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce (FICCI), civil society organizations, academia and policymakers were involved in roundtables, meetings and one-on-one consultations. The ATNF Expert Group, again, provided advice on all aspects of the methodology (see Annex 6 for the list of members of the Expert Group).
The stakeholder consensus was that a Spotlight Access to Nutrition Index had potential in India. They also appreciated and supported adapting the methodology to the Indian context, particularly focussing on topics of great importance and relevance in India, including food fortification for the undernourished, consumer education, clean water and sanitation, food safety and companies’ approach to Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR), given the recently introduced CSR tax (which companies can allocate to addressing nutrition). Stakeholders also supported assessing the role of companies in stemming the alarming increase of overweight and obese people in India and diet-related diseases.
In April 2016, the final draft methodology was presented to the companies shortlisted for inclusion in the first India Spotlight Index. The 2016 India Spotlight Index methodology is available here.
The Access to Nutrition Index rates food and beverage manufacturers´ nutrition-related policies, practices and disclosures worldwide on a recurring basis.
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