Eleven CEOs from the world’s leading food and beverage companies have come together to announce a renewed set of commitments that will guide their global health and wellness strategies over coming years.
In a letter to Dr Margaret Chan
, Director-General of the World Health Organization (WHO), the company heads reiterated their collective stance on heightening efforts to support the goals of the 2011 UN Political Declaration and the WHO Global Action Plan for the Prevention and Control of Non-communicable Diseases (NCDs).
Key actions outlined in the enhanced pledge include:
Product formulation and innovation:
IFBA members have committed to continue to reformulate and innovate products with the goal of making available food and beverage choices that help people eat healthier, more balanced diets. Each company will make, and publish, a specific corporate commitment which details its goals and progress in this area by the end of 2014.
Over the next two years, IFBA Members will roll-out a consistent nutrition labelling approach globally, providing information on key nutrients of public health interest as well as including calories on front of pack.
Responsible advertising and marketing to children:
IFBA’s current policy covers television, print and online advertising. Members are only permitted to advertise products to children under twelve that meet company-specific nutrition criteria – or, not to advertise to this age group at all.
The new commitment will cover all types of media. Over the next two years, companies will ensure that marketing communications for less healthy products are not designed to appeal primarily to children under twelve. The companies will also seek to harmonise their nutrition criteria, on a regional or national basis, to provide a strict common standard.
Promotion of healthy lifestyles:
The health and well-being of the 3.5 million people employed globally by IFBA members is an important priority. Its members have committed to extend workplace wellness programmes to help employees improve and sustain overall health and wellbeing. These include working towards smoke-free environments and offering healthy dining choices and nutrition information to staff.
Applauding the strategic plan as a bold move by the global food industry, FIA agreed that addressing these global public health challenges requires a whole of society effort and actions by all stakeholders, including the private sector. FIA Executive Director, Dr Bev Postma, said that FIA supports the commitments made by IFBA and is actively working with small, medium and large enterprises and governments throughout Asia to deliver targeted solutions for all Asian consumers.
She said “IFBA’s renewed and enhanced commitments are a positive step forward for the global food industry in demonstrating its leadership and commitment to supporting the advancement of the WHO Global Strategy on Diet, Physical Activity and Health. Experience has shown that in acting together we can make a difference. Our approach at the regional level is fully aligned to IFBA’s Global commitments and FIA champions the use of public-private partnerships (PPP) to address the evolving complexities in health and nutrition in this region”.
Commenting on the enhanced commitments at an international level, Rocco Renaldi, Secretary‐General of IFBA said: “Consumers around the world will face many challenges related to food and nutrition in the coming years. We embrace the role to be part of the solution – through our foods and beverages, consumer education and responsible marketing we promote healthy lifestyles that balance consumption and activity. The enhanced IFBA commitments build on the substantial progress we have made since our members first came together to take collective global action in support of the advancement of the 2004 WHO Global Strategy on Diet, Physical Activity and Health and reflect the actions we believe are necessary as we move toward realising the ultimate goal of improving public health.”
For more information, please refer to
About The International Food & Beverage Alliance (IFBA)
: IFBA is a group of eleven global food and non‐alcoholic beverage companies ‐ The Coca‐Cola Company, Ferrero, General Mills, Grupo Bimbo, Kellogg, Mars, McDonald’s, Mondelēz International, Nestlé, PepsiCo and Unilever ‐ that share a common goal of helping people around the world achieve balanced diets, and healthy, active lifestyles. IFBA is a non‐commercial, non‐profit making organisation, in special consultative status with ECOSOC.
For more information about IFBA, please visit www.ifballiance.org.
FIA issues regular e-bulletins with analysis on relevant food and beverage industry issues across the region. To subscribe to this service, please click here.