GAIN Working Paper Series 21 - Bringing business thinking to worker nutrition programmes

There is significant evidence to suggest that workforce nutrition programmes - i.e., interventions that operate through the existing structures of the workplace to address fundamental aspects of nutrition amongst employees or supply chain workers - bring benefits to employees and employers alike. In 2019, GAIN and NewForesight undertook a study to understand the business case for worker nutrition programmes in company supply chains, focusing on cocoa in Ghana, garments in Bangladesh, and tea in India.

This study aimed to do something that had not been done before: apply business case thinking to worker nutrition programmes in supply chains, using a structured and systematic approach. The study extended the definition of "business case" beyond financial returns on investment to cover a broad range of possible motivations for companies and sectors to invest in nutrition in their supply chains.

This working paper outlines the methodology that GAIN and NewForesight developed, how it was used, and highlights opportunities for others to draw on to develop the methodology further to build the business case for workforce nutrition programmes.