by Joachim Marc Christensen

GAIN-ing ground on fairer food systems

Do you know how many people go hungry every day? In total, around half the people on the planet suffer from some form of malnutrition, while almost 800 million of them go hungry every day. Most people think of malnutrition as simply not having enough to eat, but the problem is far more complex and means that without sufficient minerals and vitamins, they cannot thrive, physically and mentally. This has an enormous impact on people’s lives and on the global economy, especially if we consider that malnutrition is the largest single contributor to disease in the world. If children don’t get the right food in the first two years of life, the damage done to their physical growth is irreversible. As malnutrition often starts in the womb, malnourished mothers give birth to malnourished children, creating a cycle that continues for generations.

These were just some of the shocking insights shared during a roundtable that Sustainia co-hosted with the GAIN Nordic Partnership of the Global Alliance for Improved Nutrition (GAIN) last week, around a project called PLAN — Post-harvest Loss Alliance for Nutrition — a unique initiative supported by USAID’s Feed the Future Initiative and the Rockefeller Foundation’s Yieldwise program, that brings together public and private actors to collectively reduce loss and waste of nutritious food. Together, we gathered representatives from eight Danish organizations, including DanfossDanish Technological University and the Confederation of Danish Industry. We had two clear objectives: to create awareness around the need to reduce nutritional loss, and start a discussion about how Danish organizations can put resources and expertise into action to create sustainable solutions. I left the roundtable strongly believing we had made considerable headway on both, and all the organisations present recognised that making nutrition a priority can help save the lives of hundreds of millions of people every year.

Bringing people who work in different sectors together is one of the most effective ways we can create change. This was just one example of how meaningful conversations – rooted in issues which connect our hearts and minds – can result in tangible action. I saw the difference we can make, as our roundtable guests departed for the day; we gathered actions, commitments and practical follow-ups to push PLAN forward and help the Nordics contribute meaningfully to one of the most systemic challenges of our time: ensuring food security and improving nutrition. I am both proud and excited that Sustainia is playing a role.

If you are interested in finding out more, or feel that your organisation could be part of this approach, why not drop us a line on or find us @Sustainia on Twitter.