14 May 2009
UK food industry chief outlines UK stance on health at Australian conference
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The issue of preventative health was a key topic of discussion on day one of the
Australian Food and Grocery Council's Highlands Senior Executive Forum 2009, currently taking place at the Hyatt Regency Sanctuary Cove in Queensland.
Melanie Leech, Director General of the UK Food and Drink Federation (FDF), told
delegates how industry and Government are working together on improving the
of the nation.
Melanie Leech said:
“The UK food and drink manufacturing industry is the fourth largest food and
drink manufacturing industry in the world. It directly employs about 440,000
and represents 15% of the UK's total manufacturing sector. Health is an
increasingly important issue for people in the UK and so it's important that
Government and the food and drink industry work together to help tackle growing
problems like obesity.
“Our industry works with Government closely on a range of initiatives, and
perhaps the most notable one at the moment is the Change4Life campaign, which
of FDF's members are involved in. This campaign is a country-wide movement
encouraging people to eat more healthily and be more active, and is aimed
at parents of families with young children through a wide range of initiatives
from broadcast advertising to printed leaflets and an interactive website, and
working with a wide range of partners from multi-national companies to
practitioners and schools, and grassroots local organisations such as clubs and
“The food and drink industry is also working to improve the health of people in
the UK by offering a wide range of portion sizes; providing clearer nutrition
labelling on both the front and back of packs; encouraging companies to
workplace wellbeing schemes; and through voluntary principles on marketing and
promotions of certain foods to children.
“So far, industry's efforts have led to the reformulation of £15bn worth of food
products to contain less salt, fat or sugar; and the provision of £11.5bn worth
of new products which are 'lower in' versions of foods. Research has also shown
that Britons bought 3,794 tonnes less salt in five food categories between
September 2006 and September 2008, and that intake of trans fats in the UK is
of the total energy intake. This is lower than the Government's recommended
maximum intake of 2%.
“For the UK industry's relationship with Government to continue to be
successful, it's vital that we maintain a longer term view of the issues; make
monitor and report on achievements and next steps; make sure any campaign
resonates with consumers; and ensure messages from all sectors are consistent.
That way we hope to be able to make a real difference to the health of our
Notes to Editors
- Melanie Leech was speaking at the Australian Food and Grocery Council's
Highlands Senior Executive Forum 2009, entitled 'Changing Today, Winning
Doing Business in Tough Economic Times', which took place from Wednesday 13 to
Friday 15 May at the Hyatt Regency Sanctuary Cove in Queensland.
- FDF Press team
Keren McCarron on email@example.com or 020 7420 7132
Sarah Lovell on firstname.lastname@example.org or 020 7420 7131
Rebecca Wilhelm email@example.com or 020 7420 7140
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