The Right to Protein campaign, the U.S. Soybean Export Council’s (USSEC) premier initiative aimed at tackling nutrition insecurity in areas where protein consumption is significantly lower than the recommended daily intake, continues to win awards and be a transformative force throughout the world.
Why is adequate protein consumption important? How does it affect nutrition, health and overall wellbeing? USSEC’s Right to Protein campaign has the answers. Aimed at building knowledge of different types of protein sources, especially plant protein, to meet larger nutritional goals, Right to Protein moves beyond food security into deeper initiatives.
“It’s impactful because it has fundamentally changed the narrative from food security to nutrition security,” said Kevin Roepke, regional director for South Asia and Sub-Saharan Africa, USSEC. “Countries must no longer solely build policy on how to fill bellies but must transition to nourishing bodies. The Right to Protein is leading this charge.”
Pakistan represents a prime example of Right to Protein at work. Almost 40% of the children in Pakistan are stunted, undernourished or malnourished. Poultry contributes to about 40% of all animal protein consumed, but is seen as the best case scenario for growth, taking cost into consideration. Beef and mutton, or sheep meat, are expensive and fish is not available throughout the year.
However, bolstered by misperceptions, Pakistan’s poultry industry was stymied in recent years due to rumors of hormone use and disease transfer. Many pointed fingers at eggs and poultry meat as a vector for disease transmission throughout COVID-19, causing further decline in the industry.
USSEC’s Right to Protein campaign works to dispel misperceptions and bring poultry consumption back into a positive trajectory. Digital and traditional media campaigns have pushed consumers toward more poultry products to contribute to a stronger Pakistan. This video, launched in 2021, has gone viral and has now garnered over 3.5 million views. It is seen as one of the most important assets of the campaign.
More than 40% of people who have experienced Right to Protein say they intend to increase their consumption of poultry, and nearly 80% of those surveyed said they will begin to discuss protein within their social circle. As a result, Pakistan has seen a dramatic upswing in the consumption of poultry, despite higher prices.
“U.S. Soy is leading this global discussion because it will play a critical role, as it lies at the nexus of both human and animal nutrition,” said Roepke. “Whether it’s directly consumed by humans or fed to animals, soy is seen as a critical solution to nutrition security all over the world.”
In India, the Right to Protein campaign continues to accumulate accolades for its remarkable successes in similar regards. Recently, USSEC was awarded the Most Innovative Use of Content Marketing Award and the Award for Best Content in an Online Campaign in honor of the achievements around elevating the importance of protein in daily lives.
These prestigious awards are honoring the impact the movement has made by celebrating videos like this one, which has now eclipsed 1 million views. In addition, the creation of Protein Day has brought many in academia, food and nutrition influencers and other key opinion leaders to the forefront to elevate the issue and openly discuss its importance.
“The secret sauce of the campaign is its collaborative nature,” said Roepke. “This is an incredibly complex and nuanced issue that will take collaboration to solve. Exporters, importers, growers and end users must all have a seat at the table.”
In a recent webinar on the supply and demand outlook for soy production, USSEC CEO Jim Sutter echoed the sentiment of collaboration, citing current world issues, the aftermath of COVID-19, spiking inflation and supply chain disruptions as reminders of a shared responsibility to work together.
To learn how you can get involved with the Right to Protein campaign, reach out to your USSEC representative today.
This article was partially funded by U.S. Soy farmers, their checkoff and the soy value chain.