SPC launches new company to support aged care
Iconic Australian food company SPC has established a dedicated nutritional healthcare company, SPC Care, following the heartbreaking findings of the Royal Commission into Aged Care Quality and Safety as well as the release of the 2021 Federal Budget.
According to the Royal Commission’s final report, two out of three people in aged-care facilities are malnourished or at risk of malnutrition, which prompted the federal government to raise the Basic Daily Fee for residents by $10 in the latest Budget.
However, this increase of $10, while welcome, does not mandate what proportion of the Basic Daily Fee is used for meals and meal provision — the Basic Daily Fee can also be used by care providers to fund laundry and facilities management.
“Like most Australians, we found the Commission’s findings alarming and believe the government should ensure that the resultant increase in the daily fee for residents have a mandated amount that is allocated to meals and thus better food solutions for them,” SPC Chairman Hussein Rifai said.
“We are determined to take leadership of this important issue by establishing a dedicated company focused on improving nutrition for the older population living in care facilities and at home.
“Currently more than 15% of Australians are 65 years or older and this number is expected to grow to 19.9% by 2058. Many industrial countries around the world are experiencing similar demographic shift in the age of their population.
“So the problem is not going away in Australia or other industrial countries. We at SPC believe positive action needs to be taken now and better food be serviced to aged residents in facilities and at home,” he added.
SPC Care will provide older or infirm Australians, as well as healthcare groups, with food that meets diverse nutritional needs. Older individuals have different nutritional requirements compared with younger people. SPC Care has built a centre of excellence in science-based nutrition and is working on further unlocking the nutritional elements of locally grown fruit, grains and vegetables.
SPC has already been researching and producing fruit-based snack and beverage solutions through its ProVital brand, nutritious specialised meal solutions through its new subsidiary, The Kuisine Company, and home-delivered meals through The Good Meal Company. With the creation of the SPC Care company, further development funds will be invested to expand the company’s product range and food delivery models.
SPC Chief Commercial Officer Bree Vidovich said, “We are expanding our offering through meal solutions that address special nutritional requirements. As an example, we are making food products easy to open for people that suffer from arthritis and other meal solutions that cater for people with health issues, including dysphagia, diabetes and gluten intolerance.
“Creating these science-based meals, snacks and beverages will reduce food waste at the point of consumption, improve the mental health of the consumer and most importantly improve the overall health of our ageing population.
“The new company will expand the current range of tasty and nutritious meals that will cater for different ethnic groups, different religious and other dietary requirements. Everybody has the right to eat tasty, high-quality, healthy and appropriate meals all day, every day,” she added.
One key issue identified by SPC Care is the lack of knowledge and training of the carers in aged-care homes, and even more so of home carers, in regards to the unique nutritional requirements of the ageing population.
The result is that older individuals do not receive the nutrition that they need. In response to this critical issue, SPC Care is planning to also provide training and education to carers about nutrition standards and the important role of food in the wellbeing of older and infirm Australians. The company is already registering interested carers in care facilities or home-based care for training and education.
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