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Thai Union and WFP School Meals Program Shows Potential Big Impact on Local Economy

Preliminary results from a study on a national school meals program in Kenya by the United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) have shown it could have a significant impact on the local economy.
Preliminary results from a study on a national school meals program in Kenya by the United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) have shown it could have a significant impact on the local economy.

Preliminary results from a United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) study on a national school meals program in Kenya have shown a potential big impact on the local economy.

Initial analysis from the study has shown that for each Kenyan Shilling sent to a home grown school meals program school creates an additional 1.27 Kenyan Shillings, delivering much needed income in rural Kenya.

The study, which was conducted with support from Thai Union Group PCL and in collaboration with the University of California, Davis (UC Davis) Agricultural and Resource Economics Department, was created to demonstrate the potential local and national economic impact of a national program providing daily lunch to all 8.9 million children in public primary schools.

Data from more than 2,000 schools, traders, businesses, farmers and households is making it possible to estimate the returns generated by every dollar invested in a national school meals program, based on the sourcing of food products from local suppliers.

Thai Union’s support of WFP and the Home-Grown School Meals program in Kenya is in line with the company’s sustainability strategy, SeaChange®. Thai Union, a member of the UN Global Compact, is also working to deliver against the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) through SeaChange®, including SDGs Zero Hunger and Decent Work and Economic Growth.

The results of the study also have the potential to demonstrate how such a program can dramatically improve the nutrition of schoolchildren while supporting local economies through a single policy. Success of the program could also result in similar initiatives being launched around the world.

[p"At Thai Union, we understand the importance of nutrition in a healthy lifestyle, and ensuring children have nutritious food to eat is critical in their development,” said Dr. Darian McBain, Thai Union’s Global Director of Corporate Affairs and Sustainability. “We’re excited to have been involved in this study, which also demonstrates how the school meals program not only has a positive impact on the children’s education but also the local economy.”[/p]

Nutrition is also a key focus for Thai Union in Thailand, where the company hosts regular workshops for children in communities where it operates. In 2018, Thai Union hosted a number of health and nutrition workshops for 750 students in Samut Sakhon province, educating them on nutrition so they can adopt healthy eating habits at a young age.

About Thai Union Group
Thai Union Group PCL is the world’s seafood leader bringing high quality, healthy, tasty and innovative seafood products to customers across the world for more than 40 years.

Today, Thai Union is regarded as the world’s largest producer of shelf-stable tuna products with annual sales exceeding THB 133.3 billion (US$ 4.1 billion) and a global workforce of over 47,000 people who are dedicated to pioneering sustainable, innovative seafood products.

The company’s global brand portfolio includes market-leading international brands such as Chicken of the Sea, John West, Petit Navire, Parmentier, Mareblu, King Oscar, and Rügen Fisch and Thai-leading brands SEALECT, Fisho, Qfresh, Monori, Bellotta and Marvo.

As a company committed to innovation and globally responsible behavior, Thai Union is proud to be a member of the United Nations Global Compact, and a founding member of the International Seafood Sustainability Foundation (ISSF). In 2015, Thai Union introduced its SeaChange® sustainability strategy. Find out more at Thai Union’s on-going work on sustainability issues was recognized in 2018 and 2019 by being ranked number one in the world in the Food Products Industry in the Dow Jones Sustainability Index, achieving a 100th percentile ranking for total sustainability score. Thai Union has now been named to the DJSI for six consecutive years. Thai Union was also named to the FTSE4Good Emerging Index for the third straight year in 2018.

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