FSA in Scotland
Recommendations to industry on saturated fat and added sugar reductions, and portion size availability for biscuits, cakes, buns, chocolate confectionery and soft drinks
In March 2010, following a public consultation, the Agency published its final recommendations to industry on saturated fat and added sugar reductions, and portion-size availability for biscuits, cakes, buns, chocolate confectionery and soft drinks.
Fifty-eight responses to the consultation were received from a range of organisations including manufacturers, food-service suppliers, caterers and trade associations, health and consumer organisations. The responses and comments received covered a range of aspects of the work to develop the recommendations.
The Agency’s voluntary recommendations help to focus activity and strengthen the progress already made by some parts of the industry, as well as offering clarity to individual businesses on the types of changes that are possible.
The voluntary recommendations were developed following meetings with industry stakeholders and have been tailored to take into account the range of issues raised, including technological and consumer acceptance issues, legislation and the impact on traditional products and smaller businesses.
The recommendations apply to mainstream products and take into account recent progress by some businesses to reduce saturated fat and added sugar levels. The Agency recognises that there are a number of traditional/niche/seasonal products for which recipes and means of production may limit the scope for reformulation.
Comments on the draft recommendations, together with evidence provided to us by industry have been fully considered. Some amendments to the recommendations have been made to take into account key issues raised. These include an extension of the timescale for biscuits and cakes containing chocolate to reflect the difficulties around reformulation. In addition, the Agency has further clarified the products that apply to each recommendation.
The Agency will continue to work in partnership with stakeholders to consider any difficulties faced in achieving the recommendations and how these might be overcome.
Changes to the draft recommendations
A further document has been produced to explain how and why alterations were made to the draft recommendations.
One of the key issues raised in industry responses to the consultation was the costs associated with reformulation activity. The impact assessment (IA) has been updated to include additional industry information on costs and the multiple drivers for reformulation.
Initial review dates for each voluntary recommendation have been included at which progress on achieving the recommendations will be assessed. This will commence from 2012. The National Diet and Nutrition Surveys will allow progress towards achieving public health recommendations to be monitored. The Agency will be publishing its achievements and commitments table, allowing food and drinks businesses to demonstrate the reformulation changes they have made, in due course.