The newly formed Singapore Manufacturing Federation (SMF) Health and Nutrition working group held its first nutrition labelling workshop for food and beverage leaders, retailers, service providers and manufacturers in Singapore on 15 February 2013.

The voluntary workshop highlighted the importance and significance of nutrition labelling, and informed attendees on the rationale and benefits of guideline daily amounts (GDA) front-of-pack labelling. The impact of other nutrition labels, such as the Healthier Choice Symbol, on both the industry and consumers were also highlighted.

The Health and Nutrition working group, which consists of SMF members and local and multinational companies in Singapore, will work collaboratively with the Health Promotion Board (HPB) to promote healthy, active lifestyles in Singapore.

Chairperson of the working group, June Kong, said the creation of the Health and Nutrition working group will enable the industry and the private sector to work closely with the HPB in tackling health and nutrition challenges.

“A multi-stakeholder, ‘whole of society’ approach is needed to effectively fight the rising rate of obesity in Singapore. Through the formation of the new working group, we are able to better address issues such as nutrition literacy and physical activity for a healthier Singaporean lifestyle,” she said.

FIA Executive Director, Bev Postma, who spoke at the workshop, congratulated the Health and Nutrition working group for this encouraging progress.

She also highlighted the significance of nutrition labels in helping Singaporeans understand the content of their food and make informed diet choices to achieve a healthier lifestyle.

“The formation of the Health and Nutrition working group follows ongoing dialogue between the SMF, the Singapore Pledge Group and the HPB on promoting a more active and balanced lifestyle among Singaporeans,” she said.

Ms Postma also highlighted notable developments such as the industry-led Responsible Advertising to Children Pledge signed in October 2012 and the recent GDA labelling announcement as examples of what have been done to encourage a healthier lifestyle in Singapore.

“FIA congratulates the SMF Health and Nutrition working group on this important milestone,” she added.