The Amsterdam Initiative against Malnutrition

Worldwide, SPAR seeks to promote healthy living through the supply of safe and diverse fresh foods instore. In 2012, in recognition of the strength of working in partnership with other organisations to improve the delivery of safe food to consumers, SPAR became a member of the Amsterdam Initiative against Malnutrition (AIM).

AIM is a joint initiative of the Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the Global Alliance for Improved Nutrition (GAIN) and various other founding partners. It was launched in 2009 and works with more than 30 stakeholders to address global malnutrition.

To date, 10 projects have been initiated by AIM. One of these is the Rural Retail Hubs project (RRH), led by SPAR International and SPAR South Africa. The RRH project, supported by Wageningen URRijk Zwaan, GAIN and BoP Innovation Centre, is focused on improving local food grown by emerging small-scale farmers in South Africa. The project supports local farmers with making decisions about what to produce and in what quantities. The farmers are given agricultural training, access to resources and financial support. Their production processes are streamlined and the quality of their crops controlled.

This support ensures that small-scale farmers are better equipped to meet the demand-driven requirements of local SPAR retailers. In turn, SPAR retailers can offer their consumers good quality, healthy, locally grown produce, thereby contributing to better standards of nutrition. Education on improved nutrition will be incorporated into the project through the affiliated retail outlets.

The RRH project runs until 2018 but it will be sustainable in the long-term and provide a blue print for expansion into more locations in South Africa and other markets.