ANIA sets 1000-day deadline to 'make food better'

By Niamh Michail

- Last updated on GMT

French people have never eaten as well as today, Girard said, but industry must go further. © iStock/vadimguzhva
French people have never eaten as well as today, Girard said, but industry must go further. © iStock/vadimguzhva
The French trade group ANIA has set itself a 1000-day deadline to ‘make food better’ in a bid to close France’s food and nutrition gap.

ANIA said the voluntary ‘manifesto’, which is due to come to an end in October this year, follows on from a citizens consultative process in 2016 and the Etats Généraux de l'Alimentation, ​a review of the farm-to-fork agri-food industry launched by President Emmanuel Macron last year that has recently come to an end.

Last week, the ANIA’s president, Jean-Philippe Girard, called the manifesto “the first step in an unprecedented collective approach”​ towards safer, better quality and more sustainable food for consumers.

“The world is changing and society must respond to new challenges: feeding humanity while preserving the planet,” ​he said. “In this environment, French people are looking for different consumption patterns, ever more responsible and better for health. For many years, food companies have been committed and considerable efforts have been made."

Girard added that while French people have "never eaten as well as today", industry must go further.

The manifesto is centred around pillars that ANIA says represent four strong societal demands: speeding up the process to make food more nutritious; putting in place a circular economy; guarantees of traceability and safety and better food information; and support to the French agricultural sector as it builds more sustainable animal rearing conditions.

Beyond these four fundamental pillars, the ANIA and the food companies advocate a real prevention policy for children,” ​it said.

“Although the state of health of the French population has improved overall, the nutritional and food divide remains a reality in France. Convinced of the urgency and importance of the subject, the food sector wants to support a major preventive ‘health food’ action in children as recommended by the Word Health Organisation (WHO)."

Specific engagements include:

  • Simplifying recipes with shorter ingredients lists by removing food additives that are not essential and using natural flavours;
  • Improving the nutritional profile of products for salt, sugar and fat content in terms of both quantity and quality;
  • Continuing individual commitments and define collective commitments within sectors for the reformulation of products and nutritional pledges;
  • Setting up an ‘orientation fund’ for revenue optimisation;
  • Simplifying nutritional information on the labels;
  • Supporting companies that wish to use the Nutri-Score nutrition logo;
  • Signing charters of nutritional progress internal to businesses or sectors.

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