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Food giants sign Healthy Kids Pledge

New Zealand food companies Fonterra and Nestle are the first fast moving consumer goods companies to sign up to the Ministry of Health’s Healthy Kids Pledge, which was published this week.

New Zealand Food and Grocery Council Chief Executive Katherine Rich says the industry commends the companies for their leadership and their longstanding commitment to producing and promoting good nutrition.

“While Fonterra and Nestle have led the way, I have no doubt that many other New Zealand food and grocery companies will also adopt the pledge over time.

“One of the things we emphasised to the ministry was that for many of our member companies, this is a continuing journey. The amount of reformulation and innovation over the past decade to reduce sodium, fat and sugar where possible has been significant. Consumers have a greater number of healthier options today than ever before.

“We would like to commend the Ministry of Health for their development process and their pragmatic approach in creating a general pledge that a broad range of companies can engage with.

“Many FGC member companies are also involved in additional global initiatives such as the the Consumer Goods Forum and International Food & Beverage Alliance Pledges, and these complement what the ministry has developed.

“The ministry has done a great job bringing to life Minister of Health Jonathan Coleman’s ambition for the food industry and the ministry to work together to consider ways to reduce childhood obesity.”

The pledge has also been endorsed by FGC.

The healthy kids industry pledge

We understand the serious impact of obesity on the health and well-being of the children of New Zealand. We will identify and contribute solutions that will aim to help reduce rates of obesity for all children.

This means we are committing, where appropriate, to:

* consider options for innovation and the reformulation of products to ensure children and their families have easy access to healthier food options

* continue to enhance labelling to help families make healthy choices for their children, including supporting the government’s health star ratings

* continue to provide fact-based information to help families make healthy choices for their children

* support responsible marketing, advertising, and sponsorship of foods to children that supports healthy nutrition

* support the government's efforts to address differences in health outcomes for different population groups, particularly Māori and Pacific peoples

* identify and communicate specific activities that we will undertake within our business, and publicly report on our progress.

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