Making everyday food healthier to improve Scotland’s dietary health
23 February 2022
By Joanne Burns, Reformulation for Health Manager, FDF Scotland
It is important for all of Scotland’s people to achieve a healthy balanced diet. Food and drink companies in communities across the country are helping to improve dietary health by making everyday food healthier. This includes meat products, bakery goods and smoked fish through to ice cream, crisps and chocolate.
I am delighted to be supporting businesses in their efforts through our Reformulation for Health Programme, funded by the Scottish Government. Since the launch in 2019 we have helped to remove hundreds of millions of calories and tonnes of salt from the Scottish diet. This huge achievement is down to the food and drink companies, from across the supply chain, that have engaged with us and have worked hard to implement changes to their recipes that are making a real difference to the health of Scotland’s people.
Many businesses are keen to make their food healthier, but the associated costs for some can be challenging. We set up our Reformul8 Challenge Fund to help with costs including trialling recipes and process changes, improving production capacity, and accessing nutritional testing and technical support.
Funding from the Scotland Food & Drink Partnership Recovery Plan helped us support even more businesses. To date, 52 applications have been received and we are delighted to have awarded funds to 33 projects, including, Bells Food Group, Mackie’s, We hae meat, JG Ross, Macsween of Edinburgh, Peacock Salt and Cobbs. The range of projects include fibre enrichment, fat and salt reduction to reducing portion sizes and sugar alternatives for bakery use.
Peacock Salt based in Ayr received funds to support the development of a lower sodium salt. They are looking forward to working closely with their food customers to deliver the same great tasting products, but with significantly less sodium. Sutherlands of Portsoy were rewarded funding to reduce the levels of sodium within their smoked fish products. They are collaborating with Peacock Salt and hope that this project will pave the way for a greater awareness and understanding within the sector and provide a template for others to adopt.
As a key food manufacturer in Scotland We hae meat note that they have an important responsibility to offer their consumers healthier alternatives to traditional favourites. We provided funding to help the business with the costs of developing a lower fat range of chicken products, this includes putting in place new manufacturing equipment.
Public Health Minister Maree Todd said:
“Since 2019, the Scottish Government has helped Food and Drink Federation Scotland unlock the potential for Scotland’s food industry to make their produce healthier and better for consumers.
“I commend our local food companies for rising to the reformulation challenge. They have played a vital role in improving dietary health by removing hundreds of millions of calories from Scottish food and drink products.
“Together, we must continue to support the reformulation agenda and the commercial, reputational and public health benefits that this contributes to Scotland being a Good Food Nation.”
I am delighted that the Scottish Government is supporting our programme which has achieved great results over the past few years. I look forward to working with even more food and drink businesses, together we can make a real difference in improving dietary health across Scotland. If you are interested in finding out more about the support we provide please get in touch.