In engagements between the CGCSA, the Department of Health and other food industry associations, on the worrying rise of non-communicable diseases and obesity, the Food and Non-alcoholic Beverage Industry supports the Department of Health’s efforts to reduce and prevent the threat that these pose to public health. The South African Food and Non-alcoholic Beverage Industry, as coordinated by the CGCSA, has embarked on several initiatives that support the manufacture of, and facilitate access to, foods and non-alcoholic beverages that contribute to a healthy diet as part of a healthy lifestyle. The Industry will achieve this by making available better-for-you food and non-alcoholic beverage options, improve the marketing of such options, while restricting the advertising to children of food and non-alcoholic beverages that do not meet specific nutrition criteria. Monitored adherence to responsible marketing to children, as well as revised nutrition labelling and promotion of an active lifestyle also form part of these initiatives. The CGCSA is confident these collective industry measures will yield the desired outcomes of reducing and managing health and obesity risks for all South Africans through collaborative action.
In order to achieve this, the Food and Non-alcoholic Beverage Industry has established the Healthy Food Options (HFO) Forum, whose main mandate is to partner with the Department of Health in developing and driving Healthy Food Options Initiatives aimed specifically at promoting healthy eating habits to manage obesity.
INITIATIVE LEADER AND KEY PLAYERS
The HFO Forum, which comprises food and non-alcoholic beverage companies, including food retailers and manufacturers of non-alcoholic beverages, breakfast cereals, snacks, treats, breads and rolls, as well as the quick service restaurants, has developed a comprehensive HFO action plan with measurable targets over the period 2016-2020. This plan includes an enforceable code on marketing communication to children that restricts advertising to children, under 12 years of age, of food and non-alcoholic beverages that do not meet specified nutrition criteria. The plain also includes measurable targets, by various sector associations of the Industry, which are specific to the Industry sectors mentioned.
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BENEFITS & WHY YOU SHOULD PARTICIPATE
The Food and Non-Alcoholic Beverage industry has an important role to play in making a valuable contribution to public health, which affects us all as South Africans. Further to this, participation offers the benefit of working alongside fellow Industry members to work collaboratively, in a non-competitive way, to achieve greater positive impact on public health than can be achieved by individual companies. This platform also provides an interface between the Industry and other key stakeholders who are working towards the same goals.