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Koko Plus - Ajinomoto Co.

The project was originally initiated to commemorate the company’s 100 year anniversary. It is executed in conjunction with the Nevin Scrimshaw International Nutrition Foundation and the University of Ghana as the core project partners and aims to achieve nutritional improvements for children by providing a supplement named “KOKO Plus.” It will improve the nutritional outcomes of an estimated 200,000 children aged 6-24 months by 2017.

“Ajinomoto’s commitment to improving nutritional outcomes for children and expanding distribution efforts to employ rural women as part of their new social business model in Ghana is an important and meaningful endeavor and we are pleased to welcome them to the Business Call to Action,” said Sahba Sobhani, Acting Programme Manager, Business Call to Action.

Malnutrition is a serious issue in developing countries and especially so for newborns in the first one thousand days of their life where malnutrition can result in stunting and developmental delays.

Ajinomoto’s new proprietary protein (amino acid) micronutrient supplement will fortify traditional porridge in Ghana, called koko. The final product “KOKO Plus” will be distributed through various community-based networks and locally recruited sales women; kick-starting employment in the region. “KOKO Plus” reflects years of expertise by the Ajinomoto Group in protein (amino acid) nutrition and food science.

With “KOKO Plus,” the company is planning to reach an estimated twenty percent of its target population in Ghana, predominantly children aged 6-24 months by 2017.

The program will also establish local food production chains, as the processing of local ingredients in Ghana will support agriculture workers and create jobs. The company also expects to create income generating opportunities for women in rural communities by hiring an estimated new 2,000 saleswomen.

“Contributing to nutrition improvement in the world is one of the core missions of Ajinomoto Group. We are pleased to expand our commitment and our programs in Ghana to help nourish and build the capacity of Ghana’s child and mother population, who should be leading healthy and productive lives. We expect that participating in BCtA and creating broader partnership will further accelerate our contribution and commitment,” says Masatoshi Ito, President and CEO of Ajinomoto.

The commitment to the BCtA will build upon Ajinomoto’s efforts to bring this inclusive business initiative to scale and to expand its strategic partnerships that include JICA, USAID, GAIN, CARE and PLAN. The company also plans to expand its specialized nutritional supplements in other beneficiaries such as pregnant & lactating mothers as well as school age children, and is working with new partners, such as GIZ and the World Food Programme, to expand distribution and production of other nutritious products in the near term.

Koko Plus - Ajinomoto Co.