News article

31 January 2018

FDF Scotland responds to Scottish government diet and obesity consultation

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Today, Food and Drink Federation (FDF) Scotland has submitted their response to the Scottish Government's Diet and Obesity Strategy consultation. This response is based on the views and concerns of FDF Scotland's food and drink members of all sizes - from SMEs through to global brands.

David Thomson, CEO of FDF Scotland, said:

“FDF Scotland welcomes the opportunity to participate in this consultation and to share our members' views with the Scottish Government.

“Our members take their role in tacking obesity very seriously. A balanced evidence-based approach covering diet, education and lifestyle is needed to make a real difference.

“We oppose restrictions on the use of promotions. Regulation of promotions could unfairly disadvantage different types of food and drink companies and their products. There is real concern amongst our members regarding these proposals.

“The measures have been created without compelling evidence of their effectiveness. They will affect Scottish businesses disproportionally. Iconic Scottish brands – whose main market is in Scotland - stand to suffer more than their international competitors, with some reporting that up to 60% of their sales would be affected by this legislation. FDF Scotland calls for the Scottish Government to test their proposals for effectiveness before moving to national implementation. Restricting promotions would also hit the poorest shoppers hardest and could limit choice for consumers.

“The food and drink manufacturing industry is a key part of Scotland's economy - contributing £3.8bn gross value added and providing 45,000 jobs. The Scottish Government must ensure that any measures proposed in this draft strategy do not damage the growth of our vital sector.

“Altering labelling requirements for products sold within Scotland in relation to those for England, Wales and Northern Ireland would add unnecessary complication and costs to the packaging and distribution of products. Differential labelling in Scotland could also cause confusion for consumers – maintaining consistency across the UK is the best way to help consumers make informed choices about the foods they are eating.

“FDF Scotland looks forward to continuing to work in partnership with the Scottish Government, Food Standards Scotland and our industry partners from across the food chain to help make a real difference to the health of the Scottish people.”

More information

Contact Kirsty Ritchie, Food and Drink Federation Scotland, at: kirsty.ritchie@fdfscotland.org.uk, or 0131 222 8040.

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