Danone Communities, the impact investment fund and social business incubator for low-income populations has announced a new investment in the social business Lucky Iron Fish Enterprise (LIFe) in Canada.
Anemia is the world's largest nutritional and health challenge impacting over 2 billion people. It mainly affects women & children (40 per cent of maternal death) and has serious impacts on cognitive & physical development for children*. In this context, Danone Communities has invested in Certified B Corporation, Lucky Iron Fish Enterprise (LIFe), a company on a mission to improve global health by making iron deficiency a thing of the past. For LIFe’s work, it was been awarded Best In The World in the Communities category by B Corporation in 2021.
Started in Cambodia, through the Ph.D. research at the University of Guelph, Lucky Iron Fish is a small iron fish or leaf-shaped cooking tool made of iron. When added for 10 minutes in boiling liquid (like water, soup, sauces, curry etc.) it releases a significant portion of the daily required iron for the family. There is clinical study evidence** that regular usage of Lucky Iron Fish is improving anemia status and Iron Deficiency with the same efficiency, better compliance and less side effects than iron supplements.
Lucky Iron Fish is based on a cross-subsidizing model = the Fish/Leaf is distributed at a very nominal price to rural underprivileged communities, who also get education on the usage. Since 2016, Lucky Iron Fish has is impacted over 240,000 beneficiaries in more than 20 geographies just from their Impact Fund.
On this investment, Anna Perinic, Business Development Nutrition Director at Danone Communities, said: “I’m excited about this new partnership with Lucky Iron Fish, the 15th investment in the Danone Communities portfolio. Lucky Iron Fish is an exceptionally innovative social business model, addressing a major health issue worldwide. In addition, LIFe is perfectly in line with Danone’s mission to “bring health through food to as many people as possible” with a significant impact on vulnerable populations and a strong potential.”
** Washington State University – Guatemala 2018; Penn University – Dominican Republic 2016, Harvard – India 2017