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Our Initiatives to improve the wellbeing and livelihoods of communities

We empower communities, tea workers and others with information on nutritious diets and hygiene practices.

Tea worker

Improving the nutrition & hygiene of smallholder farmers

The workplace nutrition program is a partnership between Unilever and the Global Alliance for Improved Nutrition (GAIN). Together, we are working through commodity supply chains to improve the diets and hygiene practices of workers, smallholder farmers and their families.

The workplace nutrition program began with a pilot covering 2,700 smallholder farmers, workers and their families in Tamil Nadu, India in 2015. Until 2019, we have covered 46,000 tea workers, SHFs and farm workers and their families to improve their health and hygiene practices through handwashing. Over 2021–23, the programme will be rolled out in tea communities in Assam benefiting a further 168,000 workers and their families from 110 tea estates – 0.9 million people in total. The next step is to bring more suppliers on board to significantly extend its reach.

The nutrition work in tea estates in India has progressed in layers, bringing in innovations to improve the model implementation and impact with each phase.

In 2021, we have launched sectoral change phase of the nutrition program, which is even more ambitious and transformational, scaling up innovative approaches to encourage a sustained change in worker’s diet by improving access to nutritious foods and to create livelihoods in tea producing communities in Assam. The program has attracted funding from wide range of tea companies interested in supporting a truly sustainable tea sector.

The program seeks to enhance demand, access and consumption of safe and nutritious food by tea worker households in Assam. In addition, the program is focusing on increasing knowledge on balanced diets and handwashing practices. The behaviour change campaign activities include street plays, cooking demonstrations, home counselling, cooking competition and nutri-games.

Empowering communities with nutrition education

Aligning with the National Nutrition Mission, through Prabhat, our community development initiative, we work on improving the health and nutritional status of women of reproductive age, pregnant and lactating women, and adolescent girls as well as children under the age of five years. In 2021, the programme was live in six locations, benefitting more than four lakh women and children.

As co-founders, HUL and the ‘Power of Nutrition’ have initiated a behaviour change programme for hygiene and nutrition using mobile technology to reach women in Gujarat. The partnership features a unique mix of a voice-based mobile service and an on-ground arm that delivers critical nutrition and hygiene information to mothers of children aged 0-5 years living in rural parts of India. The partnership is in alignment with the Government of India’s initiative, Poshan Abhiyan, to address undernutrition in the country.

Nutrition for all

Additionally, we improved accessibility to nutritious meals by providing mid-day-meals to school students and supplementary food to out-of-school children. Owing to the pandemic, schools remained closed for most days of the year. A contingent plan was developed, and dry ration was distributed to target beneficiaries. Over 1.85 lakh kits containing staples, pulses, cooking oil and spices were distributed to children including their families.

A new programme was launched to increase awareness of the importance of nutrition among cancer patients in convalescence. Monthly awareness workshops were conducted with mothers and caretakers of cancer patients, on nutrition and different foods that can be given to them to speed up their recovery. Additionally, nutrition kits were provided to 800 cancer patients undergoing treatment to help them with good nutrition.

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