Empowering through education

Improving the Nutrition & Hygiene of Smallholder Farmers

The Seeds of Prosperity programme is a partnership between Unilever, the Global Alliance for Improved Nutrition (GAIN) and the Sustainable Trade Initiative (IDH). Together, we are working through commodity supply chains to improve the diets and hygiene of smallholder farmers.

A successful pilot has reached 2,600 farmers in Tamil Nadu, India. The programme will now be replicated in tea farming communities in Assam as well as Kenya and Malawi, benefiting a further 300,000 people. The next step is to bring other suppliers on board to significantly extend its reach.

Women who participated in the pilot reported a 41% increase in the variety of foods consumed. Additionally, there was a 41% increase in the number of households that grew vegetables in their gardens. Our intervention has also helped enhance hygiene among farmers. We saw 78% of farmers begin washing their hands before lunch daily, compared to 51% who did not participate in the programme.

Empowering Communities with Nutrition Education

‘Prabhat’ is HUL’s USLP-linked programme which contributes to the development of local communities around key sites including manufacturing locations. It aims to create sustainable communities in line with India’s development agenda and the global SDGs.

We are building on the local community needs at the grassroots level through targeted pillars of enhancing livelihoods, water conservation and health and well-being awareness. Project Prabhat is live in over 26 locations across the country. It has directly benefited over 4.5 million people across 12 states and 2 union territories in India through partnerships with over 20 NGOs and more than 5,000 HUL employee volunteers participated in the volunteering activities under Project Prabhat in the last seven years.

Prabhat also launched the School Contact Programme (SCP) on nutrition last year wherein HUL employees volunteered as ‘Nutrition Ambassadors’ explaining the importance of healthy eating and healthy living to school children. The vision of this initiative is to help communities ‘grow healthy together.’ We are certain that once people experience the benefits of safe and healthy food themselves, they will become ambassadors of change for the entire community. The programme has reached out to more than 46,000 school children in 2018.

Prabhat has also aligned with the National Nutrition Mission through the newly launched Poshan Saathis programme, where young girls and women are reaching out to people around the HUL factories, demystifying nutrition for women, especially those, pregnant and lactating.

External Recognition

Hindustan Unilever Limited (HUL) has been ranked joint #1 in the India Access to Nutrition Spotlight Index 2020 amongst India’s 16 largest F&B companies for its approach to nutrition. Hindustan Unilever and Nestlé India share the rank with an overall score of 6.9. This recognition is a strong endorsement of the steps taken by HUL with respect to its nutrition governance, practices, and disclosures. Since the 2016 India Access to Nutrition Spotlight Index, HUL has improved its ranking (from #2) and its overall Corporate Profile score from 6.7 to 6.9.

In the Access to Nutrition Initiative (ATNI) report[1], HUL is lauded for its clear and well-structured nutrition strategy in India. Some of the best practices cited include – HUL’s active support for FSSAI’s Eat Right Initiative, USLP linked reformulation approach on reducing levels of salt, sugar and saturated fats in products, the Company’s pricing strategy to improve affordability of products, its unique product distribution initiative (Project Shakti), along with the Company’s initiative to drive healthier diets and lifestyles for its employees. Out of the seven assessment categories, HUL led the way in four categories - Governance, Accessibility, Lifestyle, and Nutrition Labelling.

1- ATNI is an international not-for-profit organisation. It publishes independent and comprehensive analysis and commentary on food and beverage companies’ efforts to improve consumers’ access to nutritious foods and beverages, both globally and in Spotlight countries (such as India, South Africa, USA, Mexico). Read more about the initiative and the report here.
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