Danone wants to help more than a million children in vulnerable situations together with organizations such as the Red Cross and FESBAL (Spanish Federation of Food Banks) through the #UnaGranFamilia initiative .
But also in the context of the pandemic, the company has joined the Health Warriors social and collaborative movement to deliver healthy food, some 140,000 during the pandemic, to families in which inequalities have caused major problems of access, even to more food. basic.
These are just two of the many initiatives carried out by the company, born 101 years ago in the Raval neighborhood of Barcelona.
Helping improve the health of the population is something that has remained intact in the company’s DNA ever since.
“Our mission is to provide health through nutrition and hydration to the greatest number of people and, although we have completed a century, our essence has not changed. Providing health through our products is today more urgent than ever ”, reflects Paolo Tafuri, CEO of Danone Spain.
Today Danone is present in more than 120 countries. Its social and environmental commitment has made the firm the first mass consumer company to be certified as BCorp in Spain.
A movement that was born in the United States in 2006 and that endorses socially responsible companies committed to the improvement of society and that voluntarily comply with very strict standards, such as the generation of benefits for all interested parties and not only for shareholders .
Danone is the first mass consumer company to be certified as BCorp in Spain
During this journey through the 100-year history of Danone there is something that has never changed: “Our local vocation and our social vocation”, explains Tafuri.
“At Danone – he continues – we promote that the ingredients we use have a local origin to create opportunities in empty Spain and so that the relationship with our suppliers is of quality”.
100% of the milk used by Danone comes from the 200 farming families in rural areas in Spain with whom it has worked for more than 25 years. Danone also “promotes the generational change among our farmers, with long-term contracts and training of the new generations that are incorporated”.
Danone’s social vocation is reflected in the actions it promotes or in which it collaborates, such as, among others, Feeding the change . A revolutionary movement supported by institutions, non-profit organizations and experts to promote healthy diets based on three axes.
The first of the axes is to promote healthy eating. Childhood overweight and obesity affect 41% of children in Spain; of them, 81% will be obese adults. Promoting holistic health in the classroom is essential.
Within the framework of the Alimentando el Cambio movement , the educational program Fluye has been promoted .
This proposal, which is already being worked on in some schools, deals with such fundamental issues as healthy habits, nutrition or emotional education.
Fluye is promoted thanks to the collaboration of various organizations, among which are the Trilema Foundation, Danone, Ashoka and the Ministry of Education and Vocational Training.
In addition to education as a tool to empower boys and girls to make healthy choices, Danone also promotes healthy eating through innovation and reformulation of its products (it has reduced added sugars by 22%), promoting of responsible marketing and through the implementation of Nutriscore, a labeling in the products that facilitates their nutritional understanding and inspires healthy purchasing decisions.
The second lever is the promotion of sustainable food. The food system is responsible for 25% of CO2 emissions.
Danone is committed to Regenerative Agriculture as a solution to the problems generated so far by the food system around environmental impact, since through these practices soils, water, biodiversity, animal welfare are protected and emissions of CO2.
On the other hand, it promotes sustainable nutrition by supporting flexitarian diets, based on the promotion of the consumption of foods of plant origin without excluding foods of animal origin. These diets are varied and balanced and it is estimated that they could reduce the carbon footprint by 17% and the water consumption by 40%.
The third and last axis of Feeding for change refers to a healthy, sustainable and inclusive diet, especially in the most unfavorable socioeconomic contexts where the rate of obesity or overweight among children rises to 47% and where 85.8% of the most vulnerable children do not comply with the WHO recommendation of practicing one hour of daily physical exercise.
To face this challenge, the company is not only collaborating with the distribution of healthy food to families in which inequalities have caused great problems of access to basic food, but also created the Danone Schools 17 years ago, which They offer after-school training in sports and healthy habits (hygiene, sleep, nutrition, mental health) to a thousand children a year whose schools are located in areas of special vulnerability.
The 2019 data shows that 16% of these children have improved their diet and that there is a reduction in childhood obesity of 3.3%.
In times of pandemic, Danone has turned to different initiatives to alleviate inequalities.
During the most difficult days of confinement, Danone, the Trilema Foundation and Save the Children developed the Learning at Home initiative to ensure access to educational resources for all families, also facilitating access to the comprehensive health educational program Fluye .
About 6,000 boys and girls with very vulnerable socio-economic situations had access to adapted educational materials and specialized teaching and support staff.
Feeding change together is a Danone initiative in collaboration with CEMAS (Valencia World Center for Sustainable Urban Food), which involves institutions, companies, experts, activists and civil society to promote diets that improve the health of the planet.
Danone and CEMAS carry out digital meetings to address relevant issues, generate community and project solutions through a transversal dialogue.
A transformation that is channeled through the empowerment of new generations in three main areas of action:
- Cooperation, which fosters alliances between companies, NGOs, public institutions and civil society to promote a just and inclusive society.
The meeting took place at the end of October and had the participation of great leaders and agents of change, among which were José Andrés, chef and founder of World Central Kitchen; Andrés Conde, executive director of Save the Children; Alberto Alemanno, CEO of The Good Lobby and Ashoka fellow or Irene Milleiro, managing director of Change.org.
- Local food (sustainable diets) to promote a sustainable production system for people and the planet. The meeting will take place in February.
- Health education (healthy diets) to promote health care among the new generations, meeting scheduled for May 2021.