Plumpy nut rutf supply chain analysis
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PLUMPY NUT (RUTF) Supply Chain ANALYSIS . Joint work with Wendell Gilland, Vidya Mani, Corrina Moucheraud-Vickery and Anthony So. Jayashankar M. Swaminathan. Increasing Demand for RUTF (Plumpy Nut).

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Plumpy nut rutf supply chain analysis


Joint work with Wendell Gilland, Vidya Mani,

Corrina Moucheraud-Vickery and Anthony So

Jayashankar M. Swaminathan

Plumpy nut rutf supply chain analysis

Increasing Demand for RUTF (Plumpy Nut)

  • The recent adoption of guidelines from WHO, WFP, UNSCN and UNICEF that endorse the introduction of these new products to reach severely malnourished children through community-based treatment approaches,

  • Rising food and fuel prices worldwide that are increasing food insecurity and, consequently, rates of malnutrition; and

  • A myriad of local circumstances—in Kenya and Somalia these include flooding, droughts and civil unrest—that affect rates of malnutrition.

Photo: Brandon Bannon

A Joint Statement by the World Health Organization, the World Food Programme, the United Nations System Standing Committee on Nutrition and the United Nations Children’s Fund (2007). Community-based Management ofSevere Acute Malnutrition.

Increasing unicef demand for rutf

Increasing UNICEF demand for RUTF

Table: Steve Jarrett, UNICEF. 2008.

Supply chain of rutf

Supply Chain of RUTF

Kenya-specific processes in green

Somalia-specific processes in purple




NGO partners


Ministry of Health


RUTF producer

Kuehne + Nagel

Freight forwarder







Flow of RUTF


Flow of information

Malnourished children

Flow of funds

Supply chain challenges

Supply Chain Challenges

  • Challenge 1: Inefficient flow of information and funds forces supply chain to be reactive, not proactive

    • Forecasts are inconsistent in methods and quality

    • Flow of money does not necessarily coincide with need

    • Causes ordering of RUTF to be uneven

Supply chain challenges1

Supply Chain Challenges

  • Challenge 2: Long lead times and high variability across the supply chain

    • Low production capacity, spikes in ordering and lumpy demand make it hard to achieve consistent lead times

    • Margin of error compounds at each delivery point in supply chain, making it difficult to project accurate lead times

    • High variability leads to low trust in the supply chain

Supply chain challenges2

Supply Chain Challenges

  • Challenge 3: Mismatch between ordering amount and actual need

    • Amounts ordered inconsistent with number of children served

    • Scarcity of supply, uncertainty in targeted arrival dates and limited fund flow make it hard for COs to rely on the supply chain  May lead to orders being inflated.

Supply chain challenges3

Supply Chain Challenges

  • Challenge 4: Information systems and flows could be improved

    • Backward information flow, including information on handover and feedback on quality, is either unavailable or nontransparent

    • Exception handling capabilities not present

    • Information may be inconsistent

Supply chain challenges4

Supply Chain Challenges

  • Challenge 5: The future of RUTF demand is uncertain

    • RUTF demand will vary depending on level of long term success and with short term spikes in demand due to local crises.

Current and future work

Current and Future Work

  • Recommendation for changes in the current supply chain

  • Articulation guidelines and supply chain analysis

  • UNICEF Plumpy Nut Supply Chain case

  • Analytical models for strategies and insights

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