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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


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