OmniActive works with farming communities at the very beginning of the supply chain to reduce treatable eye and vision problems, treat nutrition related diseases, empower women, improve sanitation and hygiene, and educate farmers.
OmniActive Health Technology (Morristown, NJ) is not only dedicated to impacting the well-being of the end-user, but also improving the lives and well-being of those throughout its value chain. Through its corporate social responsibility initiative, the Improving Lives Foundation (ILF), OmniActive works with farming communities at the very beginning of the supply chain to reduce treatable eye and vision problems, treat nutrition related diseases, empower women, improve sanitation and hygiene, and educate farmers.
Through ILF, OmniActive has created a total of 14 camps that have, so far, conducted 2610 eye exams, 680 cataract surgeries, and provided 833 pairs of glasses. ILF has also screened 1661 women for anemia, 547 of which were identified as anemic and treated. To further combat anemia, awareness workshops have been conducted, which 747 participants have attended, and 572 kitchen gardens were started to provide nutrient-rich vegetables to meet nutritional requirements. Handwashing programs have been run in six schools across six villages to ensure good hygiene practices, and 460 students have reported that they are now washing their hands regularly before meals.
In addition, OmniActive is actively educating farmers to help improve agriculture practices used for its ingredients. “OmniActive’s approach has been a ‘365 program,’ to help improve farming practices for the crops used for our ingredients but also for those grown at different times of the year,” explained Rushva Parihar, OmniActive’s corporate branding & communications director to Nutritional Outlook. “The Foundation focuses on training 260 farmers in Good Agricultural Practices (GAP) for the crops they produce throughout the year, and integrated disease and pest management to help farmers move towards more sustainable solutions. There were also training programs directed at young villagers who are looking into farming as a career.”
Determining what farmers and villagers needed was one of the biggest initial challenges for ILF, said Parihar. For this reason, ILF decided to ask people directly. “We decided to take a ground-level approach and spoke to over 100 farmers, local government officials, local businessmen, schoolteachers, doctors and the women in the community to understand what were the key issues that they were facing,” Parihar said. “We believe this approach will help us deliver the support that is most impactful.”
ILF will continue its efforts to not only improve the lives of Indian farmers, but also drive the concept of “People, Planet, Profit,” a long-term view of sustainability, built on the ethical measure of a business. “Our goal-for our industry and beyond-is to serve as a case study for other businesses, illustrating that if you prioritize environmental and social issues, the profitability and success of a company naturally follows,” said Parihar.