In the Institute’s last blog posting, Tanya Baytor commented on how large manufacturers of unhealthy foods, including Coca-Cola, McDonald’s and Cadbury’s, took advantage of the Olympics to associate their products with health. Tanya raised the concern that these companies’ exclusive Olympic sponsorship deals helped them market to children, a segment of the population which is especially susceptible to food marketing and which suffers from epidemic levels of obesity and overweight.
At the Clinton Global Initiative two weeks ago, the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria announced that it would be expanding its partnership with Coca-Cola called Project Last Mile. Under this project, Coca-Cola lends its supply chain management expertise to help the Global Fund improve delivery of essential medicines to clinics in hard-to-reach rural areas, starting in Africa. (Rather than including medicines in shipments of Coke, a plan which was considered but scrapped, the company works with Accenture to help host country governments improve distribution networks.) The project was piloted in Tanzania, where, according to the Daily Beast, “delivery times have been cut from 30 days to five. When patients seek vaccination, they find the right one in 80 percent of cases, up from 50 percent two years ago.”