Devex Examines World Food Prize, Critics’ Concerns Over Private Industry’s Influence

Devex: The World Food Prize is courting the private sector. What could go wrong?
“The global nutrition community will arrive in Des Moines, Iowa, next week for the annual awarding of the World Food Prize. Simon Groot, who created a vegetable seed company that has boosted the fortunes of smallholder farmers, is the latest recipient of an award that has been called the ‘Nobel Prize for food and agriculture.’ With the prize — and the three days of panel discussions and speeches that culminate in the laureate address — the World Food Prize has carved out a position of significant influence over the global nutrition agenda. … Critics, who warn that the private sector will always prioritize profit over health, worry that the World Food Prize is leveraging its influence to boost the food and agricultural industry’s role in addressing malnutrition. Their critique speaks to a larger tension within the global nutrition community about how, if at all, to engage the private sector…” (Green, 10/4).