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Category G: Engagement

Category G consists of two criteria:
  • G1 Influencing policymakers
  • G2 Stakeholder engagement
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By responding to requests from policymakers and policymaking bodies, and supporting government activities and positions on nutrition policies, companies can have an impact on Indian consumers’ access to nutrition. In addition, constructive engagement by companies with a wide range of other stakeholders (including international organizations, civil society and academics) can help to strengthen their strategies and policies and provide valuable feedback on their relevance and effectiveness. This category focuses on companies’ engagement with stakeholders on nutrition-related issues.

G1
Influencing policymakers
G2
Stakeholder engagement
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Did not provide information to ATNI
Findings
  • Despite only seven companies explicitly committing to engage with policymaking bodies in support of measures designed to address all forms of malnutrition in India, 12 were able to provide examples of playing an active and/or constructive role in supporting the Indian Government’s efforts in this regard.
  • Overall, companies’ disclosure about their interaction with stakeholders in India is quite limited. None of the companies get a full score of 10 points even though nine report some degree of disclosure – mostly regarding their membership with industry associations. None disclose their financial support to influencers (individuals or groups), think tanks, interest groups or other such organizations in India. Only Coca-Cola India discloses its Board seats at industry associations and on advisory bodies related to nutrition issues, and Hindustan Unilever is the only company to publicly report on potential governance conflicts of interest.
  • Working in partnership with stakeholders to address malnutrition is more common – nine of the companies do this. However, none provide evidence of one-to-one discussions with key organizations working on malnutrition to solicit input on their corporate strategies, nutrition-related policies or activities. Nestlé India and Marico stand out in respect to their comprehensive, well-structured and focused engagement around their corporate nutrition strategy with Indian stakeholders. Both companies have established regular interaction with stakeholders through trade associations, surveys, direct feedback and in-person convenings.
Recommendations

ATNI recommends that companies:

  • Engage with policymakers when requested and in support of government measures designed to address obesity, diet-related diseases and/or undernutrition or micronutrient deficiencies in India.
  • Increase transparency around membership of industry associations, think tanks, or interest groups, as well as financial support to these organizations. Similarly, publicly disclose potential governance conflicts of interest, including Board seats at industry associations and advisory bodies related to nutrition issues, and about the positions adopted when seeking to influence nutrition and public health policies in India.
  • Establish formal, long-term partnerships and one-to-one discussions with key organizations to address malnutrition within their commercial approach.
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