Creating a working environment that supports good nutrition is good for employees and employers.
Most people eat at least one meal at work every day, so it is important that work environments help rather than hinder making food choices that are healthy and nutritious. This is particularly critical for people who work long hours, in physically demanding jobs, and may be far away from home, whether on construction sites, in factories, or on farms.
To date, a lot of the literature around workforce nutrition focuses on interventions and policies in corporate office settings, often in high-income countries, many as a component to health and wellness programmes. Studies look at small nudges that can shift employee behaviour, as well as re-thinking the types of food that are made available on site (whether in cafeterias/canteens, communal kitchens or vending machines). While there are important lessons to be learned from these initiatives, we need more tested examples on what employers in low- and middle-income countries can do to make safe and nutritious food options more available during working hours – and how governments can support and enforce these programmes.
What are the ways in which the public and private sectors can come together to identify a common understanding and approach to workforce nutrition – what does it mean, what are the most effective interventions, who pays and who benefits?
Top resources we think matter
The Consumer Goods Forum (CGF) and the Global Alliance for Improved Nutrition (GAIN) have set up the Workforce Nutrition Alliance to support employers adopt workforce nutrition programmes. The Alliance focuses on four core areas of work: healthy food at work; nutrition education; nutrition-focused health checks; and breastfeeding support. The Workforce Nutrition Alliance aims to support employers to adopt and expand workforce nutrition programmes and impact 3 million employees in their organizations and supply chains by 2025.
The Consumer Goods Forum seeks to secure consumer trust and drive positive change by bringing together over 400 consumer goods retailers, manufacturers and service providers. Alongside other stakeholders, this CEO-led organisation strives to create better lives through better business, with benefits for both people and the planet. One main area of work is employee health and wellness, including nutrition. Given the scale and global reach of CGF’s members and partners network, there is opportunity to effect significant change all over the world.
Better Work brings together diverse groups – governments, global brands, factory owners, and unions and workers – to improve working conditions in the garment industry and make the sector more competitive. The ILO is the only tripartite U.N. agency – a true PPE – that brings together governments, employers and workers from 187 member States. The ILO promotes good nutrition as an important component of workplace healthy and safety, as well as productivity.
Explore the organisations, platforms and initiatives to see who else is working to promote better nutrition through public private engagement.