Africa Improved Foods (AIF), a social enterprise producing fortified cereal-based foods for complementary infant feeding and improving the nutrition of children and adults, was this month, announced the winner of “the best large enterprise product of the year” in the East African Community (EAC) for its Nootri Toto product. Nootri Toto is specifically designed and fortified with 13 Vitamins, 7 Minerals, Proteins and Calcium; to complement the diet of breastfeeding infants above six months and young children who are starting to consume solid foods, providing them with the required nutrients to build their strong growth and development. The event for the above-mentioned EAC Quality award was held in Dar Es Salam, Tanzania, on October 20, 2022. The competition started at national level. The winners in their home country participated in the EAC competition organized through Market Access Upgrade Programme (MARKUP), a regional initiative that aims to increase exports of agribusiness and horticultural products and promote regional integration and access to the European market. MARKUP operates under the International Trade Center. About AIF winning the Award AIF was established with the sole purpose to alleviate the challenge of feeding Africa with local food production. It is a social enterprise whose business model embeds a comprehensive strategy to fight against acute, moderate, severe and chronic malnutrition. On a daily basis AIF products feed more than 1.5 million children. AIF quality management systems include the Food Safety System Certification (FSSC 22000), the laboratory management system (ISO 17025), the environmentally sustainable solution, and all its products are S mark certified by the Rwanda Standards Board (RSB). Nootri Toto was chosen as the best product to be presented in the competition based on its nutrition facts and impact. Blandine Ingabire, Quality Assurance and Quality Control (QA QC) Manager at AIF, ‘’said that the aforementioned Award reaffirms AIF’s world class quality standards and that practicing high food safety standards as an organization, matters.’’ She pointed out that the Company has the most advanced state of the art laboratory that supports its quality assurance along its production chain from farm to fork. “AIF Products are meant to prevent stunting, ensure a healthy growth and development and ensure a healthy immune system,” she said, indicating that the company supports anti-stunting fight from pregnant and lactating women (PLW) by providing them with fortified foods that improve their nutrition and that of their babies. Ingabire added that the work AIF has done so far in partnership with the Government of Rwanda to reduce stunting from 38 per cent by 2015 to 33 per cent by 2020, with the target to drop it further to 19 per cent by 2024, is promising in the journey of ending malnutrition across the country. Meeting the strict criteria Strict criteria were used to select the best product of the year to receive the above-mentioned award. They include excellence and consistent compliance to the standard requirements, controls in place to give feedback to the customer/consumers, implementation of environmentally sustainable solutions, use of quality as a marketing and promotion tool, and maturity of Quality Management system and, AIF was found to be outstanding in all these criteria. Other nominees in the competition for this EAC Quality Awards on large enterprise level, were Brarudi SA, Burundi; Lodhia Food Products SA, Burundi; and Zanzibar Milling Cooperation Ltd, Tanzania. Prior to the regional award Before contesting for the EAC level honour, AIF won a national-level award as “The outstanding performer in quality compliance” award that was organized by RSB, as part of their 20th Anniversary of standardization in Rwanda celebrations. This award, during a ceremony that took place in Kigali, Rwanda on October 14, was given to acknowledge AIF’s contribution in upholding the high product quality standards set by the RSB amongst other organizations in the same sector.