This article enters into the controversy between NGOs and the private sector in infant andyoung child nutrition. In this area there is an environment of distrust, simultaneous toincreasing private sector collaboration in nutrition – particularly around micronutrients – and development as a whole. The articleasks: Can the FTSE4Good index series be accepted as a governing due diligence guide ininfant and young child nutrition (IYCN), in order to facilitate partnerships between NGOsand breast-milk substitute (BMS) producing companies?
The FTSE4Good is a socially responsible investment index, conceptualized here as a non-state market driven governancesystem (NSMD). Discourse analysis and empirical data are analyzed to understand whether this NSMD can achieve the crucial aspect of legitimacy.
The research finds that the FTSE4Good cannot achievelegitimacy in IYCN. This is ultimately due to a lack of trust, the absence of shared norms, andthe strategic goals of the FTSE4Good index itself. The FTSE4Good can however begin aprocess to establish shared norms and highlights the need for a more independent entity toact as such a guide.
As the FTSE4GOOD cannot achieve legitimacy at this time, it would beneficial to investigate the possibility of the formation of an independent facilitating guide, and the impact that would have on improving global maternal and child nutrition and health, the most important aspect of this debate.