The General Manager, Coca-Cola Nigeria Limited, Alfred Olajide has reiterated the company’s commitment to food safety through a structured governance framework that ensures the safe, sustainable manufacture and distribution of products of the highest quality, produced in accordance with both company and local legal regulatory requirements.
Olajide disclosed this at the 46th Conference and Annual General Meeting of the Nigerian Institute of Food Science and Technology (NIFST), held recently at the National Centre for Women Development, Abuja.
The 3-day event themed ‘Advancing National Development, Wealth Creation and Food Security through food processing and preservation, focused on topics around beverages and waters, cereals, pulses and related products, roots, fruits and vegetable processing, among other issues.
In his keynote address, which focused on how to realise the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals, Olajide said a sustainable food security system is one of the core objectives of the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). And to realise it by the year 2030, according to him, the global food security system needs to be reshaped to be more productive, more inclusive of poor and marginalised populations, environmentally sustainable and resilient, and able to deliver healthy and nutritious diets to all.
According to Olajide, these are complex and systemic challenges that require the combination of interconnected actions at the local, national, regional and global levels.
Olajide noted that the Medium-Term National Development Plan launched in 2021 serves as a continuum to the Vision 20:2020 introduced in 2009 and the Economic Recovery and Growth Plan (ERGP) introduced in 2017 by the Federal Government. This plan identifies the agricultural sector and food ecosystem in Nigeria as a primary driver of growth, wealth creation and employment in the country, given the nation’s natural endowments, and the available knowledge, digital innovation and technology tools that can enable leapfrogging.
Olajide also disclosed that the company adopts a structured governance framework that ensures the safe, sustainable manufacture and distribution of products of high quality, produced in accordance with both company and local legal regulatory requirements.
He said, “The safety and quality of Coca-Cola products have been a top priority for more than 136 years, and our ability to maintain the integrity of our supply chain and quality of our brands depends on well-functioning and prosperous farming communities. Our Principles for Sustainable Agriculture (PSA), advance and standardize our core values at the farm level – from small-scale farmer cooperatives to large commercial operations – supporting livelihoods and helping to ensure continuity of supply.
“We rely on agricultural ingredients to make and package our beverages. Ensuring these ingredients are sustainably sourced is a key priority for us, and is essential to our efforts on climate resilience, water security, human rights, sustainable packaging and economic empowerment. As climate change leads to more extreme weather and increased water stress, more sustainable agricultural practices will play a vital role in promoting resilience across the supply chain and it is important that we pay attention to food processing and preservation as a country.”
The Nigerian Institute of Food Science and Technology (NIFST) is a professional body that represents the interests of food scientists, food technologists and allied components drawn from the academia, research institutes, industries, and public-private sectors in Nigeria. It provides professional support to its members, the food industry, and the government in national policy development, advancing and promoting Food Science and Technology as a profession, thus contributing to nation-building.