In October we were invited to share ALPA’s nutrition journey at the International Congress on Obesity. The Congress attracted over 1000 delegates from around the world who came from a range of disciplines (policymakers, UN representatives, health professionals and researchers), all working to prevent and manage the global obesity epidemic.

The focus of the Congress was 'Mind the Gap: how policies can be used to shape the food system to reduce inequity'. The Nutrition team from UNICEF East Asia opened the session with a presentation on how their research on the prevention of overweight and obesity among children has been used to advocate for policy action in Thailand. Following this, our Nutrition Manager, Khia De Silva, showcased how Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander leaders have successfully created and implemented policies that have created healthier stores in remote Australia.

ALPA Director, Djamalaka Dhamarrandji, opened our presentation via video. Djamalaka highlighted why nutrition is an important focus of the ALPA Boards. Following this, Khia presented the key objectives of the ALPA Health and Nutrition Strategy, that being to improve the affordability and availability of healthy foods and drinks in ALPA stores, and to support our customers to make healthier food purchases.

Khia took the audience on a journey,
highlighting the major strategies that the ALPA Board of Directors, and Independent Store Directors have put in place to achieve these objectives over the last 40 years. Our achievements in healthy retailing resonated with the audience, with many celebrating the presentation on Twitter and Linked In. People were amazed to see a retail business in remote Australia leading the way in healthy retailing.

We thank the Congress committee for allowing us to share our story. It allowed us to connect with strong public health advocates who we have started working with to influence public health policies in the Northern Territory.