Industry efforts to produce healthier everyday foods are the key to success – Joan Burns

Joan Burns, Healthcare Reform Manager, Scottish Food and Drink Federation

I am delighted to support businesses in their efforts through the Food and Drink Federation’s Reformulate for Health program funded by the Scottish Government. Since launching in 2019, we have helped remove hundreds of millions of calories and tons of salt from the Scottish diet. This huge achievement belongs to the food and beverage companies across the supply chain who have partnered with us and worked hard to make changes to their recipes that truly improve the health of the people of Scotland.

Many businesses strive to make their food healthier, but the associated costs can be overwhelming for some. We created our Reformul8 Challenge Fund to help with costs, including recipe trials and process changes, increased production capacity, and access to nutrition testing and technical support.

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Funding from the Scotland Food and Drink Partnership Recovery Plan has helped us support even more businesses. To date, 52 applications have been received and we are pleased to provide funds to 33 projects, including Bells Food Group, Mackie’s, We hae meat, JG Ross, Macsween of Edinburgh, Peacock Salt and Cobbs. A number of projects include fiber fortification, fat and salt reduction to smaller portion sizes, and sugar alternatives for use in baked goods.

Peacock Salt, based in Ayr, has received funds to support the development of low-sodium salt. They look forward to working closely with their food buyers to deliver the same delicious food but with significantly less sodium. Sutherlands of Portsoy has received funding to reduce sodium levels in its smoked fish products. They are partnering with Peacock Salt and hope this project paves the way for greater awareness and understanding in the sector and provides a template for others to adopt.

As a key food producer in Scotland, we note that they have an important responsibility to offer their consumers healthier alternatives to traditional favorites. We have provided funding to help the business cover the cost of developing a range of low-fat chicken products, including the installation of new production equipment.

Health Minister Marie Todd said: “Since 2019, the Scottish Government has been helping the Scottish Food and Drink Federation unlock the potential of the Scottish food industry to make its products healthier and better for consumers.

“I thank our local food companies for taking on the challenge of reformulating. They have played a vital role in improving dietary nutrition by removing hundreds of millions of calories from Scottish food and drink.

“Together we must continue to support the reformulation agenda and the commercial, reputational and public health benefits that this contributes to making Scotland the nation of good food.”

I am pleased that the Scottish Government is supporting our program which has produced great results over the past few years. I look forward to working with more food and beverage companies and together we can make a real difference in improving dietary nutrition across Scotland. If you would like to know more about the support we provide, please contact us.

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