Jul. 23, 2024

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Mr. Feike Sijbesma, CEO of Royal DSM receives UN 2010 Humanitarian Award

Two years ago, in our 20th anniversary newsflash, we quoted as follows: "A good friend of mine, Mr. Feike Sijbesma CEO of Royal DSM, the Dutch based €10 billion Euro Life Science and Materials Science company, said recently that we cannot call ourselves successful in a society that fails".

“I am so very pleased to congratulate Feike for receiving the U.N. 2010 Humanitarian Award on Friday October 22 in NY, and reminding us all that as business leaders we have an opportunity to make a difference in the society we live in”, says Gert van Manen, President of iTi Tropicals, Inc.

Mr Sijbesma got this prize in the presence of UN Secretary General who won it before and he conveyed his gratitude to Mr. Sijbesma (see picture) and the help the UN gets from DSM. Mr Sijbesma got congratulations from Mr M Bloomberg (Mayor of NYC), Mr JP Balkenende (former Prime Minster of The Netherlands) and Mrs. J. Sheeran (Executive Director World Food Program).

At a Headquarters press conference before accepting awards from the United Nations Association of New York (UNA-NY) for their humanitarian work, Amir Dossal, Executive Director of the United Nations Office for Partnerships, and Feike Sijbesma, Chief Executive Officer of Netherlands-based Royal DSM, stressed the need for broader public-private partnerships to confront the world's challenges.

"Often we've said at the United Nations that if we are to address some of these challenges we have to engage the non-state actors, particularly the private sector. This engagement can only come if there's leadership at the top," Mr. Dossal said, adding he was proud to have worked with Mr. Sijbesma.

Mr. Feike Sijbesma, CEO Royal DSM, was honored with United Nations Association 2010 Humanitarian Awards for its contribution to the Millennium Development Goals of the UN, in particular addressing (hidden) hunger in cooperation with the UN World Food Program. Royal DSM, the world's largest manufacturer of micronutrients such as vitamins and minerals, has a cooperation with the UN (WFP) in which DSM provides (for free) technological knowhow and patents to the UN and develops new product concepts and supplies products to the UN to fortify foods for impoverished people in developing countries and emergency situations. “People at the real bottom of the pyramid, who are suffering daily from hunger, are no business model for us” said Feike Sijbesma, who added: “we see it as our responsibility to share our knowledge with those who need it barely but can’t afford it”.

Mr. Sijbesma, whose company specializes in Life Sciences and Material Sciences, said he had been intrigued by discussion several years ago at the World Economic Forum in Davos about the "hidden hunger" of micronutrient shortage among some 1 billion people, which could lead to conditions such as anemia, fatigue and blindness. Mr. Sijbesma told correspondents, adding that: "I'm very pleased that all of our 24,000 employees can contribute and that we can and have taken responsibility in the private sector together with the United Nations."

The company's technology had fortified foods such as cookies, date bars and rice in extensive work with the World Food Program (WFP) and the Office of the United Nations High Commission for Refugees (UNHCR). "The best part about this is that we're not the only ones doing partnerships. Like Royal DSM, there are a number of other private sector leaders who get it and feel that it is not only about making profits but really looking at sustainability in its truest form, and that the poor are also a market at the end of the day," Mr. Dossal said.


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