ByÂ Kasie Abone
Nigeria Heart Foundation (NHF) a non profit and non governmental organisation founded to promote heart health, scientific research in cardiovascular health and healthy lifestyles has endorsed Three Crowns milk from the stables of FrieslandCampina WAMCO as the first and only heart friendly milk brand in Nigeria. The endorsement, the first of its kind on any Nigerian dairy product, which supports the brands claim of offering motherâ€™s and the family complete nourishment and wellness, was the highpoint of the 30th anniversary celebration of the milk brand.
At the grand event to mark the historic occasion which took place in Lagos NHF and the milk brand also recorded a significant milestone as they jointly withÂ announced a strategic partnership aimed to jointly promote, encourage, and empower Nigerians to live a healthy and active lifestyle.
While unveiling the partnership FrieslandCampina WAMCO Managing Director, Mr. Ben Langat said Three Crowns milk considers it a great privilege to partner with NHF in promoting healthy options for consumers. â€œWe understand the important role food plays in reducing the risk of Non Communicable Diseases (NCDs) including cardiovascular diseases. It is because of the close link between diet and health that our company and Nigeria Heart Foundation have come together today to endorse Three Crowns milk as the heart friendly brand. â€œ
He added â€œAs Three Crowns marks her 30th anniversary of delivering complete nourishment to Nigerians, the brand in partnership with Nigeria Heart Foundation will promote, encourage and empower Nigerians to live healthy lives. This is significant because Three Crowns milk is the first dairy brand to be endorsed with the Nigeria Heart Foundation â€˜Heart Checkâ€™ logo. â€œ
Both organisations he noted share a common interest in tackling the problems of NCDs adding that the World Health Organisation (WHO) strategies recognise that the solution requires a societal approach, multi sectoral actions and the collaboration of government institutions and the private sector.
Speaking further Langat said addressing the awareness of NCDs, supporting consumers in making informed dietary choices and collaborating with government to shape evolving policies on tackling NCDs was key to his company. â€œWe recognise the important and unique roles good and beverage industry plays in these efforts and we have been involved in this through various initiatives across our brand portfolio.
He said Three Crowns supports families by providing high quality nutrition for motherâ€™s and by extension their families. The brands also communicated healthy eating habits and encourages an active lifestyle because of its belief that when a mother is happy and healthy the community and the nation will also be happy and healthy.
Langat also disclosed that an innovative initiative by the milk brand, Three Crowns Fitness Challenge, a first if itâ€™s kind in the industry, which has been in existence for over a year supports consumers to develop a daily exercise routine. To further drive home the import of this initiative Langat said the brand launched a digital campaign â€œwork out with whateverâ€ in addition to the creation to the creation of a direct coaching platform where consumers are given tailor made exercise routine based on their work out challenges.
In her address President of Nigeria Heart Foundation, Mrs. Francesca Y. Emanuel said that NHF Heart Check Labelling Programme supports national initiatives for healthier good choices through endorsement of positive Heart Check logo on healthier food products certified to be heart friendly. She explained that the programme which started in 1998 was a tripartite initiative between Nigerian Heart Foundation, National Agency for Food, Drug Administration and ControlÂ (NAFDAC) and the food industry promoting heart friendly food products through a rigorous scientific process.
While commending the milk brand for setting the pace for other good brands she noted that NHF has been working assiduously over the last ten years with NAFDAC in the promotion of healthier heat friendly food choices in line with World Health organisation focus on the prevention of NCDs through reformulation, education and front-of-pack labelling. She said of the five NCDs namely heart disease, cancer, diabetes mellitus, sickle cell disease, and chest diseases which she described as â€˜the greatest killer diseases of the 21st centuryâ€™ heart disease was the number killer in Nigeria.
She commended the federal government for taking bold steps to start the proposed increased excise duty on tobacco and alcoholic products which comes into effectÂ June 4, 2018. At thesame time she called on government to extend the measure to other products that pose health challenges like sugary drinks and alcohol.
Three Crowns milk was launched into Nigerian market in 1988 and in 2015 it extended into powdered category to cater for a wider consumer preference. It is low in cholesterol and contains 28 vitamins and minerals needed for daily nutrition.
The company plans to deploy massive campaign across all media platforms to amplify the 30th anniversary celebration as well as engage itâ€™s numerous consumers.