Working with the private food sector to improve nutrition

Thursday 8 February 2007

Diet and nutrition in general, and obesity in particular, have increasingly become key policy issues for most EU member states. Yet thinking on the best way to address the issues, including through working with the private food sector, varies from country to country. The objective of this project was to compare the approach to working with the private food sector to improve nutrition in the UK and the Netherlands. This was with a view to identifying and exchanging best practice as well as opportunities for closer collaboration.

The study was undertaken as part of an on-going programme of collaboration between the Dutch and the UK on nutrition, including a one -year secondment from the UK Food Standards Agency (FSA) to the Dutch Food and Consumer Product Safety Authority (VWA).

The report sets out the findings in the context of the wider European and international policy environment, but it does not look at other countries. It outlines roles and responsibilities, current strategic priorities and thinking on nutrition policy in the Netherlands and the UK. It then focuses on four key areas where there is collaborative work with the private food sector in both countries:
  • front of pack signposting;
  • promotion of foods to children;
  • product reformulation;
  • communication of dietary messages.
It goes on to discuss and compare approaches and makes a number of recommendations, both to the UK and the Netherlands but also to EU and international organisations. As such it is a significant step in terms of collaboration between the two countries, and also provides useful insights for other EU member states.

See: english summary

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