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Sustainability opportunities for nutraceutical companies—podcast

Reviewing a decades’ worth of information on sustainable practices across the nutraceutical industry.

Prof. Rupesh Kumar Pati has recently published in Decision Sciences the article “Achieving the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals-2030 through the nutraceutical industry: A Review of managerial research and the role of operations management” (DOI: https://doi.org/10.1111/deci.12515), which addresses the current flow of management literature information on the nutraceutical industry.

In this podcast episode, Prof. Pati shares insights on:

  • Lessons learnt from reviewing a decade worth of information on the nutraceutical industry: sustainable systems and pillars  
  • The role the nutraceutical industry plays in addressing the United Nations sustainable development goals when it comes to malnutrition and undernourishment
  • How public-private partnerships and stakeholders from the nutraceutical industry offer more support towards sustainability practices
  • The promises of nutraceuticals and future opportunities for companies looking to start or continue progress toward sustainability

Guest

Dr Rupesh Kumar Pati
Professor, Quantitative Methods and Operations Management, Indian Institute of Management Kozhikode (IIMK)

 

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Vitafoods Insights Podcast

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Podcast transcript:

Vitafoods Insights  00:05
Welcome to the Vitafoods Insights podcast. Join us as we explore the latest science innovation, helping the global health and nutrition industry connect, develop and progress. Today's host is Natalia Franca Rocha, content producer.

Natalia  00:23
Hello and welcome to our Vitafoods Inside Sustainability series podcast. I'm Natalia Franca Rocha and today we'll be talking about how to achieve sustainability through the nutraceutical industry. I'm joined today by Professor Rupesh Kumar Pati, who is actively involved in research published in the domain of sustainable supply chain management in pharmaceutical, nutraceutical, agrichemicals industries, primarily focusing on the need of sustainability adoption across the business. Thank you for joining me, Rupesh.  I'm really excited to discuss more about sustainability in the nutraceutical industry with you today. But before we start, can you first share with our listeners about your background and your research interests?

Rupesh  00:55
Thank you Natalia. So my name is Rupesh Kumar Pati. I'm currently a professor in Indian Institute of Management Kozhikode (IIMK), it's one of the leading Institute in management domain in India. I have done my research even before, 15 years back, when the terminology of sustainability was itself not there in the dictionary. That time itself I was working on the domain of sustainability. So I have done a lot of studies as it is introduced by Natalia on pharmaceuticals, on agriculture, agrichemicals, on human behaviour of not adopting organic foods, even though it's recommended by Dr sites good enough. The same behaviour we see it in pharmaceutical industries, where we see a lot of solutions happening because of medicines, still people in India and developing countries dying because of lack of medicines. And the same we could observe it in nutraceutical. So, along with one of my students, we have started working on nutraceuticals Industries, sure, because we could see many of the underdeveloped countries including developing countries as well as India ranked very bad in terms of the nutraceuticals GHI global hunger index. So, this year itself it is around 97 out of 107 countries. So it clearly indicates the importance of nutraceuticals, what is coming up due to the so called as the challenges in now malnutrition which is happening across the world. So, prior to joining IIMK, I was basically scientist in a space organisation in India. So only space organisation in India: Indian Space Research Organisation few years.

Natalia  02:47
Thanks for that overview, it is definitely great to see how the academia is pushing for more sustainable practices. And I know you've recently published a review on achieving the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals 2030 through the nutraceutical industry. Can you share with us more of what you've learned after reviewing over a decade worth of information? And what is the triple burden of malnutrition?

 

Rupesh  03:11
So if you have a look at the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals, the primary focus, if you see, is number one is no poverty. The second one is zero hunger, the third one being your good health and wellbeing. These are top three, right? So when you look at those top three goals, has a significant impact when you look at majority of the countries are not able to meet these three goals itself. If you have a look, whatever study we had done, a limited investigation from our end, it would be shown from our end through a lot of domination studies that close to around almost 88%-90% of the countries are definitely facing some kind of malnutrition in their particular countries. And maybe in a developed and underdeveloped countries, the issues are different all these countries, but definitely they're looking at some kind or other of malnutrition. So clearly, it indicates that somewhere either the policymakers or the industry body could be looking at a scenario where we would like to intervene, and then have a look at how do we improve this malnutrition situation. Because if I want to improve the health of a nation, it's primarily important that it should eradicate poverty as much as possible. I should have people where hunger is not there as a major driving of death across the society. And of course, both of them are going parallel, then only I can think of something of good health and wellbeing coming up. Now again, linking these two are three goals. You have other associated goals also within effect sensor the nutraceutical industry is primarily the role of the BM main company players private players which are coming in. So again the goal of responsible production and consumptions I'm seeing here. So, you can see majority of these are huge emphasis if you are clearly trying to achieve UN SDGs goals of 2030. So, with that as an objective, we have started our investigation into let us see what are the last 10 years studies from 2008 onwards, where are they focused on and it's no surprise that whatever we could see in practice, the literature was also following that. And you could see majority of the studies were done in a non-GHI countries primarily these are all developed nations, whereas the GHI countries were ranked very bad in the g8 index of WHO itself. So, hardly any focus of research has been conducted. These GHIs countries like Sub Saharan countries, most of the African countries, India, and a lot of Bangladesh, all the Southeast Asian countries, many of them are located, hardly any focus has been given in research. And you see the problems associated to both these countries are as economies are totally different. At one side of the globe, you have an underdeveloped and developing countries, people who do not have, even. enough affordable capacities to go and buy good quantum of food. On the other hand, because we had done our research already on the food industry, agricultural industry, so we could see close to around, even in India, if I take around close to 25-30% of people die because of lack of food. Around similar numbers die because of lack of medicines. And this really gets very bad once once I move on to the African side. So this clearly indicates there is a huge mismatch between where I should focus and where I should not focus. On the other hand, if I just move across the developed nations, it's not the issue of undernutrition, which they're facing, it's not the issue of I don't have food, it is an issue of poor dietary habits, where you can see many of the issue which are landing up consuming the nutriceuticals are more concerned about their obesity, heart diseases. Most of these things are nothing to do about lack of food or lack of nutrition. It's not proper balance between the nutritions. Even sometimes they might be over consuming than what my human body has a capacity. And thus, there is lots of, I'd say, day to day, day in and day out, health issues which we face, and that can be seen across the globe happening. So you can see the problems in both the parts of the world are completely different by nature. And most of the studies have done on the over nutrition or the issues of imbalance in the nutrition, whereas there's a huge lack of focus on undernutrition part. And that's where we thought, is it possible that nutraceutical industries can play a huge role here to benefit the entire society? In the new process, we are also trying to explore how does it benefit the environment. And of course, what we presume is none of the companies would be interested to venture into if they are at least not getting back some amount of investment in it right? So they should definitely get into no profit, no loss of a situation, breakeven point. So that would motivate more and more companies also to come and invest. So that's classically what sustainability is all about: I should have some economic benefits in that, as the investors as different answers, we're looking at this as a business model proposition. On the other hand, the social benefits and environmental benefits are mandatory to have in today's world where we are seeing a huge amount of social unrest, climate change. So these are some things which we could see it in the literature itself. So if you map it together with practice and reclaim literature, it could be seen that lots of focus are there in one part of the world in only specific issues. Whereas a large gap exists in another part of the world. And that's where the future should lie in. And it provides a huge market opportunity even for the business houses. The second part which we could observe that most of the research was focusing on innovations aspect of it. So the theoretical lens was primarily looking at diffusion of innovation. So they were trying to find out a lot of new kinds of products which will be helpful for the society. So the approach the lens was always innovation. They were also looking at efficient utilisation of resources, that's where they are focused more on; resource based review of the theory. But rarely, you will see any one of them are looking all three pillars together. Basically economic, environmental and social. So there are theories which have also come out in last 40 years or so, which is primarily social resource based theory. So you should use it efficiently it's good enough, you should do it environmental friendly good enough, but all these things cannot compromise the society because as a human being, we are as good as our society nearby. So, if the studies are not using those lenses to focus. So, even the research does not go into that lens. So, whatever learning even the pair practitioners would be taking up our business houses, will be taking up these lenses will be missing. This can clearly be seen in the kind of studies which have been done across the last 10 years. And most of these studies have focused on issues, which is typically looking at sustainable sourcing alone, sustainable production alone, innovations of design, as I said, understanding consumer behaviour at all, all of these things, if I again, see primary categories are again focused on the developed economy, where developing and underdeveloped economies are still far, far away from the real facts. And if you see the global population spread, most of the population in the global law is around 70% of it are actually in the underdeveloped and developing economies. So focus has hugely been on to understand the consumer behaviour also, in the developed economies, and neglecting a huge market segment for a potentially a great industry, I'll say nutraceuticals, which makes up food, and pharmaceuticals. So if you have a look at also the challenges, which we could see that the more the population is increasing over the years, the population of globe is increasing. So there's more demand on food. The increase demand for food has actually pressurised us to start adopting more and more chemicals while producing the food so that productivity of the land enhancers. Now what we have done is we have moved out of the natural way of getting the food, the natural regeneration cycles, whatever we had it in our soil structures. So these chemicals actually in the long term gets into the foot itself. So it gets into our body as an individual. Because of use of excessive chemicals, it is environmentally dangerous. The same chemicals gets down to the water table, and we drink that water also. So ultimately, if you see it's very dangerous to the environment in a long run, and you can see a lot of fertiliser industries, biogas, and the gas industries are also coming up with lots of risk associated while producing them. So that again, lands up in air pollutions and a lot of issues which are actually challenging your environmental sustainability. So the studies which were there were exclusively primarily looking at either social sustainability, or environmental sustainability. But no one was talking about sustainability as a system. So that means those initiatives should give me some return on investment, right, which is actually feasible for me to continue such kind of investments going on, it should give me environmental pollution, as well as social benefit. If we don't have all these three things together, then it's all about what typically is driven by the regulations, which they call it as corporate social responsibility. So many of the countries have a fixed regulatory Corporate Social Responsibility norm saying 2%, 3% of annual profit has to go in, annual revenue generation has to go into operation. That's the legal regulations, how many of us are doing beyond that? So am I increasing my efficiency of the processes that could be my distribution process, that could be in my supply chain or the entire process, right? sourcing distributions, logistics, every aspect of it, warehouse and all, so that it is beneficial to me so that I'm interested to go ahead and expand it across the world. Also, in addition to that, it should be beneficial to the environment as well as society. So till we do this, we are only looking at, I'd say, hitting the name of one pillar at a time. So we are not at all looking at all pillars together. So the concept of sustainability, I personally feel, is still missing to a large extent. Very, very limited studies have been done and that to a very specific geographical location, so it's difficult to be generalised in total. But one good thing which I could observe is over the years, most of these studies, if you see are driven by various international treaties, international policies, which is coming up. For example, we had Copenhagen, immediately lots of studies started happening on environmental side. We had some revolution, which is about scale of nutrition. So, people started talking about how do I improve the nutrition? Okay, then many of the statistics did not consider environment side, they only thought about nutrition. Then we had this UN SDG goal which had come up in 2015. So, immediately you see, now, the focus has started shifting. So, it's a positive side that some of the studies across again, I'd say, focusing mainly on the developed economy has started at least moving in the sustainability side. It could be only in a single pillar. A limited number of studies, look at all the pillars as such an actual sample size, whichever we had it. So, as it, if I take the drugs out of it, it's basically: are we trying to solve all aspects of affordability to the poor people who are in a situation of malnutrition? accessibility, are we providing them where they are there? ar we are expecting that it is there are many far places people are already poor, I may not be able to travel such a distance, I cannot afford the logistics, but I'm trying to get that closer to the consumer asset. Then you are looking at awareness campaigns, are we putting a lot of awareness campaigns only on I'll say affluent section of the society, who are actually looking at the imbalance and nutrients would be there, but not undernutrition. So, are we focusing more on that could we because there is a huge margin available there and thus, that could be a lucrative margin, but is it that some of the industries are also missing that the volume is available on the other side of the table also. So, even with very, very few marginal margin, I can get a substantial amount of profitability, provided I can get the accessibility as well as affordability aspect out there. So, this is what I could see that majority or shall I say, these are some things important aspects which I felt are missing. And these are the areas where we could go ahead and future and lots of research could be conducted specially looking at the theoretical context in which you are exploring, the geographical context in explorer which you are exploring, lack of policy dimensions were also observed in many of these countries because I cannot have the same policy in a developed country and put it down in a developing or undeveloped countries because of different socio economic scenarios which are available. So we need to have more contextualised studies in different different geographical parts, understanding what are the plus and minus of these specific countries. So this you can say is, what is that in a bigger way, which I could observe in last 10 years, 12 years of literature's available in academic and the weights mismatching with the practice what is happening.

Natalia  18:03
Well, there is so insightful, thank you so much for sharing and for our listeners interested in the paper, I will add a hyperlink on the show notes so that you can have access to it. But Rupesh, as you've mentioned, and also according to the World Health Organisation, the majority of countries face at least one of the issues of undernutrition, micronutrient deficiencies or overweight obese populations. And with that in mind, I know you've touched upon some opportunities for the industry, but what exactly is the role of the nutraceutical industry in addressing the UN sustainable development goals when it comes to addressing malnutrition and undernourishment?

Rupesh  18:43
If you have a look at it nutraceutical players are a vital role, because there are two different places with different class of industries. One is a food industry yesterday and yesterday's another was a pharmaceutical industries. Pharmaceutical industry primarily was looking at curing of some kind of illness or sickness with a patient or a society is suffering from; and food was to deal with that I should try and provide you better quality of food, better quality of nutrient mix, which is available. Now the problem in these countries and these economies are all about, I'm not getting the right quantity of food as compared to the populations. So that automatically is leading me to a lot of people of this society and being from these societies. So you may not be able to even afford for it even a single day meal is difficult to have that. So if I'm looking at trying to improve the nutrition through food, food is in short supply. So when food is in short supply, it's quite likely that number of my populations could also go starving throughout the day. Multiple days at a chain could have maximum one or two meal that to not have a substantial quality. So all these things automatically has an impact on the aspects which we are trying to investigate. Second part of it, this is where as I said, the pharmaceutical industry also has a lot of ill effects because you see different countries across the world have different risk sharing agreements. What does it mean, that's in some of the developed countries that could say that's as per the policy regulations, it says that if a retailer has excess amount of medicines, which is post expiry, then the risk is shared by the retailer or wholesaler as well as the manufacturer. And that's a good way, because then I will not get similar kind of product from multi brands. So thereby, I'm trying to reduce the quantum of as pharmaceutical products getting manufactured, saving environment, even the quantum to be stopped and ultimately to be disposed enough. On the other hand, in many of the developing countries, such kind of frameworks of policies are missing of this sharing, say in India, also, the risk policy itself says that if a product or a pharmaceutical drug expires is the responsibility of the manufacturers to take it back and be at the cost. So the impact of it is what is happening is, I start getting for this similar kind of medicines from multiple brands, I start getting from every different different companies, because I don't know the doctors are going to prescribe these company's product. So immediately goal that's clocking, say I'm just putting a number, 10,000 units of a medicine for which actual demand is always 500 or 400, or 300. So that leads it to expiry, and then I don't, I'm not running a risk of it. So automatically, there's a huge quantity of expiry of medicines. That's why I said close to around 30% to 40% of food in developing countries are wasted, because of lack of proper management of the food supply chain. Around 30 to 40% of medicines are wasted. Now, this is an utter imbalance when I see that there are equal a number of 25%, 30% of the people who die because of medicines and foods. So you cannot have a wastage happening at one end, and people dying because of lack of those things, facilities or food or nutraceutical and pharmaceuticals at the other end. So this industry called as nutraceutical is basically a mix of both these industries together, so it can be used to as a supplementary for providing me good quality of nutrition. On the other hand, it would also avoid me from getting into nutritional deficiency, which can lead me to some of the illness. So that's where I can see the role of nutraceutical industry is very, very vital, provided, I need to make sure that the design is not only from a perspective of social service, because it's very difficult to get finances committed for a very long period of time, unless, and until it is regulatory mandated. Now in many of these countries, also you see what health organisations have wonderful policies of helping many of these underdeveloped and developing countries for the sum of the product, like you're pumping it and all, which they have said it's good for children to consume it and they are facilitating it. But the problem is, they cannot give it completely for free, because there'll be a producer at the other end, who cannot afford this for such a big population. So, even if I want to pay as government, I do not have such capacities in developing and underdeveloped economy, I don't have money for buying, even if you say lots of agencies are there, but the agency also needs some money to buy it financials have to be strong enough. So, when these financials are not strong enough, even for government agencies or as well as the aid agencies, they do not have sufficient stops to meet the requirement. The moment the meeting of requirement does not happen, that's a problem, again there is an excess somewhere, there is a wast somewhere, and could also drive down, I will say, the companies to come and invest here because they could see no one is willing to buy and everyone on this world wants for free. Does that restrict a lot of players who want to give that service also? Yes, it does, because no one is able to finance them. Other aspect of it if you see especially in the context of India, you will see a lot of foods are being wasted, which are overproduced, it could be because somewhere in green revolution happened 1970s so people started talking about we are lacking in rice we are lacking, so let us increase the volume of rice and wheat. So now we are global produce and export our subject. But the problem is does it reduce the quantity of land which was required for making other great raw materials which could be happened as an input for my nutritional deficiency. So how do I get this farmers also back in loop because soil structures does not change in three seconds, four seconds, it changes the soil structure, which for the last 20 years have been habituated to producing rice. It again takes a substantial amount of time, six months, eight months, nine months, I said, so that the soil is now okay with producing the new item, whatever you want it for nutraceuticals. So, who will take care of it? farmers already are fighting for their own daily battle. So, would they be interested? that's only in a financial bases. So that's why I said that the business model should be developed in such a way, that it should be a win, win, win for almost all the stakeholders. That's where nutraceutical really plays a very vital role when I have shortage at every end. Look, can I just put in as nutraceutical as a plugin solution to some segment of the society at least where I'm not depending heavily on certain kinds of resources, and thereby depriving someone else from the right?

Natalia  26:12
And touching upon that, how can public-private partnerships and stakeholders from the nutraceutical industry offer more support towards this sustainability practices?

Rupesh  26:23
Before that, first of all, I need to identify who are my key stakeholders out her, right? So one stakeholders, I've have already said, are the companies we're going to meet the nutraceutical production, logistics, player involved, and primarily most of the raw materials are farm driven. Like if you want to have lumping ethanol, you need to have raw material which is coming from the farmland I said. So those raw materials farmers has to be involved in it. So farmers should be interested to change his or her current practices or what I have to make, if the soil structure allows, of course, with some point of time, to what is required. So farmers are important and most important is, I should have a faith in the product because there are many international, lot of real life instances where safety and regulations have really played safety regulations have played a huge role in productive packs also. So that's an issue which is associated with it. So the question is, am I also interested to eat where some of the products have safety concerns associated? So it's a consumer who comes in. The last part on the most important part is the undernutrished person or average person, they should be able to get the access to it. You should have an awareness that don't worry, this is there. And I can consume this particular product. And I will be even though I consume in a smaller volume, I don't have to consume this much big. Smaller volume, but it provides sufficient amount of nutrition for my body. So I should be able to access it. And I should be able to afford it. If you are expecting me to pay even as I say, not the complete, but poor part of it, I have a better standard of living. But then I cannot afford the price of the nutraceuticals, which is currently there. If you see most of the price of nutraceuticals are very high compared to normal, I said, raw materials which we combine together and have it. The problem is I don't have raw materials, so that raw materials is a problem for us. So they can really help us out in bridging these two gaps.

Natalia  28:34
It's so interesting to hear and certainly I'm sure there are lots of gaps in whitespaces that the industry can work towards filling in. Now furthering considering sustainability, What would you say should be the focus for companies working in the industry to restore or to continue to progress towards sustainability? For example, what are some of the things that the newcommers trying to break into the nutraceutical industry should keep in mind and work towards as well?

Rupesh  29:00
If I have a look at the nutraceutical problem, you can see many of these nutraceutical products to these developing and underdeveloped economies are being exported from outside. Now there's a huge cost incurred getting raw material from some other part of the world, making it in developed countries and then sending it back to the developing and underdeveloped economy. And that increases the cost of doing the business very high. Now, is there any way in which I can start the local sourcing at respective countries, even two countries three countries which are close together, even if I can have a pipeline there which can make it rather than getting it from 1000s of kilometres, does that help? because there's 1000s of kilometres incur along with it, the transportation costs and each of these transportation media, even the ocean is one of the least environmental polluting, but still it's polluting, it's released, but it's not polluting, I cannot say right? So can I reduce the quantum of pollution because of excess transportation, which is happening across the globe, if I can have the local sourcing as close as possible to these economies? Now, that's one aspect which are looking at, can I reduce the cost on that side? The second important is if I'm going for local sourcing governments or even supply chain concepts have always said, more closer you are to the demand point, the lesser stocks you have to maintain, and that will give you even benefits in inventory management. So that again, further reduces your cost. But the problem currently is, who is going to produce it? So could we as industry along with government policies, right? Because when you ask our stakeholder, the government is very important here. And now the companies are very important. Do I have to motivate companies to please come out and invest here? we might be giving you some tax exemptions, there some kind of Social Security giving you but whole idea is you come and establish your experience as close as possible. So the exemptions in tax is a policy measures from the government. But on the other hand, it would also be, I'd say, reduced cost for the manufacturer and the finances, plus the benefits which they get it from the logistics cost, inventory cost, transportation costs right? Now, because they're closer to the market, they may not have to over produce and under produce such a huge extent, which they might have been doing, if they're getting it from very far distance. Problem with work currently, or whatever is happening is also that demand is so high that you're importing from other countries or those countries exporting to me. Then I need to create some local sources where I can get the raw materials and get the processing done here. So are you looking for investment? Yes. Are you looking from some players who are expert in the domain like nutraceutical industry is doing it? Yes. So am I providing the right kind of policy interventions so that it can motivate them to come? Most likely no. We are not giving them that good we feel that may not be that important. But due to lack of that, what is happening is the price of those nutraceutical products are growing very high. And typically those who can only afford it will take. So those who are already suffering from undernutrition would never be able to afford. So if you're really looking at this as a potential business opportunity that I'm really looking at getting these supports from government one, changing of mindset from the manufacturer saying I can only do it in that country, because quality can only be maintained, the process quality can be improved here also. It is your company, so how do I maintain and improve the process quality? you can do it at your respective place wherever you decide to have the location. The third part is you need to get the raw material from here. And as I said, the raw materials are one of the major source of raw materials are farmers, right? So for Plumpy'Nut, you would have peanut, butter and milk and all such products. That I can only get it here, that's more cheaper for me, because of the rich diversity of land. But what was the problem is people have started moving away some tea leave extract, because of lack of, I'd say, rice with all the things so government has pushed, that kind of they should be self sufficient. But now you're having excess quantity of rice, which you're landing up an expert, but that land piece has already gone to someone else, which was there previously for, say, making bean and has gone to rice. So again, it needs some time for the soil structure to get adjusted. Are we going to support in policy measures or gum inside of it, policy measures to support the farmers and motivate them that you can transfer yourself back to the content whichever I want or we want for a nation to reduce the quantum of malnutrition? Thereby we will enhance our status in the HR index in a global framework. And that could further improve the chance of more and more companies coming and trying to invest back in the country because they could see some business value also rather than only saying I'm doing for social sustainability purpose, not for complete sustainability aspects. So we talked something about environment, benefits. We talked something about stakeholders involvement. We talked something about the farmers now getting up. Now to get these farmers having a small piece of land, we may not get the volume of raw material. So you're actually looking at getting lots of farmers together as a cooperative society or something of this kind where the people are at the farmers are interested to, um, make up the raw material which is necessary for you. Now, immediately, are we looking at maybe the conglomerates, helping them out or the business houses helping them out to understand the basic or good technologies? because that may not be available currently in developing and underdeveloped economy. So can these corporate houses help them to get better technology and share the knowledge of best practices? Because once you can show me that, and you can also do a pilot study on a small area where you could see whether it is beneficial for a farmer in one or two years. So that would automatically make Lord and Lord farmers to get interested if they see that the productivity is increasing, and revenue generation sources increasing the standard of life is increasing. So are we actually impacting the society not only the people who are having food issues or under nutrition issue, but also the people who are actually struggling again in the farming business. So the moment this is a business opportunity, they would more interested to take up those raw materials, which would give them a better margin, rather than the raw materials, which are because of high supply and low demand. They're not getting fair prices for their current rice production also. So when they're not getting their fair prices, because specifically seeing huge amount of suppliers compared to demand, so the buyers are only as powerful in that. So can I change my pattern where I have better, I'd say, partnership deals? where I say better opportunity created for my own business? Thereby the farmer standard of living improves the raw material availability for the manufacturers improves. And as I am local to the manufacturer, I've started making locally the cost for me as a manufacturer improves, that has an impact on the cost of the final product, which is coming down significantly. The moment I start having five cost of final product coming down significantly. It again has an impact on affordability of the end consumer who are the people who are not able to afford and the existing prices. And this can also the reduction in the cost would also have an impact on government as well as NGOs or other service organisations were interested to sell but an annual budget they will have, say a given amount yesterday because of high amount of price. So they were only able to get limited amount of product from these particular nutraceutical products. But now as the price has come down with the same amount of budget, they can get more amount of food or nutraceutical foods, and this can again be supplied to the required customer market segments are the people who are under nutrition and micronutrient deficient. So are we improving the health status of the society? All, all the members, as I said, farmers, main people who are getting affected called as consumers, manufacturers. So you can see here, the lots of roles to be played by nutraceutical industries, by policymakers to get these farmers back to making what is good for the economy or the country in total. So that would automatically make the living standard of the country better the health standard of the country better. So which now long time reduces the investment offer given country itself on health. So this particular reduction in investment on health could further be sent back for procuring more and more nutraceutical, locally sourced nutraceutical products, thereby feeding more and more people who are unable to get this affordability. Now, as I said, the important part of the nutraceutical companies are also to create a supply chain where they can reach the needy as close to as possible rather than being located far away and expecting these poor people to go to their places. It's impossible for them because of their affordability even the health status may not be aligned.

Natalia  39:04
Thank you so much for a Rupesh for this really interesting overview on the opportunities for the nutraceutical industry companies to be more sustainable, and also to cater for the end consumer, the communities and the planet as well. Do you have any final thoughts you'd like to share with our listeners?

Rupesh  39:19
Yes, nutraceutical is a very promising industry provided we plan it as a system. We cannot plan it as one entity at a time, we need to plan it as a system and sustainability is the only way in which next four or five years can grow. With industry 4.0 coming in this will further just improve your efficiency, it will further because of data sharing, again, make you more and more cost effective. So why not take advantage of all these wonderful technologies which are coming in? provide the right kind of datas to manufacturers and the farmers so that they can take right call what to make, thereby provide food at the right time to the needier segment, as well as reduce the cost so that those people who are still having nutritional imbalance in their side, they can also afford and get the balance right. And provide good health awareness campaigns, even to those who are in the developing countries who are landing up to a lot of long term diseases. Although I could see that the adoption of good health practices have improved in those developing countries, still a bigger part of the society is missing. So it's very important that all of us come together to improve our own sustainable environment, so that we leave our next generation leave for a better health in a longer period of time.

Natalia  40:51
Well, what a nice way to end the show. Thank you so much for joining me today. It's been a pleasure having you and this really interesting discussion as well.

Rupesh  40:58
Thank you Natalia. It was a pleasure for me also.

Natalia  41:01
You're most welcome, and hopefully, we'll see you soon. Thank you also to our listeners for tuning in. For more content from Vitafoods Insights, make sure to check our website on the link available in the show notes. If you do like the show, make sure to subscribe and follow the Vitafoods podcast. Feel free also to recommend the show to a friend who you think would enjoy it. That's it for now. Thank you so much and I'll see you soon.

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