To obtain a fuller picture of companies’ contributions to healthy and sustainable diets for all, ATNI stimulates interaction and knowledge exchange while keeping full independence, objectivity and transparency in all projects and assessments. Engagement is at the core of ATNI’s activities.

To objectively deliver impactful results, ATNI’s approach is guided by a set of general principles:

1. Align methodologies on prevailing international standards, norms and established best practices where possible

ATNI tools aim to reflect the existing consensus on best practices. For the Access to Nutrition Indexes, ATNI does not assess compliance with regulations or law but the degree to which companies voluntarily take responsibility to improve their policies, practices and products.

2. Recognize the current state of knowledge and continually evolve

As knowledge and practices about diets, nutrition and health continually evolve, the methodologies are revised at regular intervals keeping abreast of the latest sector and thematic developments, while retaining an optimal level of comparability over time.

3. Ensure relevance and applicability to a range of different food and beverage manufacturers

ATNI’s projects are designed to evaluate the degree to which business activities embed nutrition-related commitments and practices. ATNI strives to consider the nutrition contributions of different types of companies, i.e. publicly listed and privately owned, companies with different product portfolios, as well as small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs).

4. Identify, reward and spread good practice

ATNI aims to generate ‘healthy competition’ among companies assessed. In ATNI’s Indexes, companies are encouraged to improve their scores in each iteration. The Product Profile highlights which companies have overall the ‘healthiest’ portfolios and the ‘healthiest’ products within categories in order to accelerate product innovation and reformulation to help consumers in making healthier choices by improving the nutritional quality of foods made available to them.

5. Encourage transparency and good practice

ATNI’s tools and methodologies are publicly available.  High levels of transparency allow stakeholders to better understand nutrition challenges and to engage with other stakeholders about their approach and effectiveness. ATNI’s Global and Spotlight Indexes credit companies not only for their policies and practices, but also for the level and quality of their public reporting.

6. Utilize an inclusive approach, incorporating multi-stakeholder input

Inputs from relevant stakeholder groups- including policymakers, experts, civil society organizations and industry guide the development of ATNI’s projects and methodologies. An Expert Group was established to advise on the methodology design and further developments of the Global and Spotlight Indexes.

Since 2013, ATNI has benchmarked the efforts of large food manufacturers to encourage healthy diets and address malnutrition in all its forms. Assessing the healthiness of products and portfolios through a Product Profile has proved a valuable part of ATNI’s corporate accountability research. Ensuring companies report on the share (in value and/or volume) of their sales from products that meet ‘healthy’ criteria or standards is crucial to the work that ATNI does.

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