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Tuesday, October 25, 2005

Unilever

 Recently, I've been researching on what MNCs (Multinational Company) are doing to help reach the MDGs (Millenium Development Goals). There are lots of information provided by the WBCSD (World Business Council for Sustainable Development) I thought it would be good to introduce some of the information relating to Africa since I'm writing an African series blog now.

 There are many MNCs which act an important role in reaching the MDGs until the year 2015. One of it is "Unilever". Unilever is a leader in nutrition, hygiene and personal care products, active in 150 countries worldwide. Unilever launched Annapurna iodised salt in India in 1999, followed by the launch in Ghana in 2001. The successful marketing of Annapurna iodised salt required a totally new marketing approach.
 Idoline deficiency problem is very serious among the developing nations. It causes coiters, mental retardation in children, braiin damage, congenital defects, miscarriages and stillbirths. UN research suggests that 30% of children under five in Africa suffer from idoline deficiency disorders. Unilever succeeded in offering iodized salt at close to the price local people paid for the non-iodized product. And this project Unilever is doing creates local jobs in manufacturing and distribution. Unilever helps local firms build capacity, investing in training, skills transfer and best practice which enables local salt producers to rapidly improve their output and quality.

 But the distribution in Ghana is very difficult due to extremely poor local infrastructure. And there are still local enterprises that sell non-iodized salt.
 This shows us that MNCs must cooperate with the government to construct a fair and consistent legal enforcement to make the aids become more effective.

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