‘Cartons for Good’ addressing food loss and malnutrition in Bangladesh
Cartons for Good applies SIG’s technology to help communities reduce food loss, support farmers’ livelihoods and promote children’s nutrition and education. The project will provide school meals for underprivileged children in partnership with development NGO, BRAC.
Almost 20% of the population in Bangladesh suffers from malnutrition and almost half the children are underweight. At the same time, food is going to waste because each harvest produces more than farmers can sell locally and they have no way of preserving surplus crops.
SIG said it set out to use its experience as a systems and solutions provider for aseptic packaging to create a mobile filling solution that communities can use to turn this food loss into nutritious meals that are preserved in SIG cartons for later use.
Rolf Stangl, chairman of the board of trustees of the SIG Way Beyond Good Foundation and CEO of SIG, said, “Our Cartons for Good project is a perfect example of turning a big dream into reality. This is a true innovation outside our traditional core business, but perfectly in line with SIG’s purpose of bringing nutritious food products to consumers around the world in a safe, sustainable and affordable way.”
The packaged food is distributed to BRAC’s schools to provide meals for underprivileged children. Named the world’s #1 NGO four years in a row, the SIG Way Beyond Good Foundation’s project partner BRAC brings insights into local development challenges, helping to enhance the impact of Cartons for Good.
Mohammad Anisur Rahman, director dairy and food at BRAC, said, “We run schools for underprivileged children across the country. Often, they cannot afford to pay for their education or even for food. Most of them drop out of school because they need to go out and work to buy food for themselves and for their families.
“Giving them meals at school means that not only will they learn, they will also have something to eat. BRAC is happy to be partnering with the SIG Way Beyond Good Foundation and we will work together to make this project successful on the ground.”
SIG: From concept to reality
SIG’s engineers adapted the company’s filling technology to create a mobile unit where meals can be cooked using local recipes and preserved in long-life cartons. Housed in a shipping container on a trailer, the unit is designed to travel from one community to the next to preserve surpluses at harvest time. The initial pilot is in the region of Balia.
Farmers are paid for their produce, providing them with much-needed income, and the packs of food are used by local schools to provide a healthy, hot meal for children every day.
The first meals created in the mobile filling unit are already being distributed to BRAC schools in impoverished communities in Dhaka, where many children drop out of school because they need to work to feed themselves and their families. After use, the empty cartons will be recycled at a local facility.