Innovative new program launched to accelerate health promotion in the food industry – Retail Times
Eight of the UK’s leading food companies and platforms have joined the first Bite Back 2030 food systems accelerator, each committing to changes to their future strategy to better promote children’s health.
Tesco, KFC, Deliveroo, Costa Coffee, Innocent, Danone, Jamie Oliver Group and school caterers, Compass Group have been announced as the first participants in the new scheme, which will see change plans developed to future-proof their business and drive a l renewed focus on improving the safety of our food system in the UK.
Coordinated by the youth-led charity Bite Back 2030, the program will take pairs of senior executives from each company on exploratory workshops to identify, develop and deliver innovative solutions that better protect children’s health and have a positive impact. on the fight against childhood obesity.
Taking a pioneering approach to inspiring business change, young people from the Bite Back movement will be paired with each company, allowing industry leaders to better understand first-hand what younger generations of consumers expect from their products and types of health innovations needed for a more sustainable future. As young activists, they are determined to use their voices and food system experiences to inspire positive change in the corporate sector.
Together, youth and business will create a vision and practical interventions that will help achieve ambitious national goals for the nation’s health. With one in three children aged 11 to 12 currently at risk of developing a diet-related illness, and the government is pushing ahead with new regulations on advertising products high in sugar, salt and raw materials fats, the focus is on industry to take the lead and create the future food systems that protect the health of children and young people.
James Toop, Chief Executive of Bite Back 2030, said: “Every child has the right to access affordable and nutritious food, so I am delighted that these eight organizations are stepping up and committing to lead change. Collectively, they represent the nation’s shopping and eating habits, so it’s incredibly exciting that the tenacious young activists of Bite Back are working with them in collaboration to shape future food systems.
The initiative was partly funded by the Rothschild Foundation, with senior executives expected to receive support from expert Leaders’ Quest facilitators and innovation and evaluation specialists from Nesta.
The Covid-19 pandemic has further highlighted health inequalities across the UK and renewed attention on the role of the food industry in tackling rising rates of childhood obesity and diet-related illnesses.
Emily Yanchuk, co-chair of the Bite Back 2030 National Youth Council, said, “I look forward to participating in the program and sharing the views of other young people on the kinds of changes we want to see to protect our health. On our streets and screens we are faced with a flood of unhealthy food options, so this is a great opportunity to work with some of the biggest brands to bring about positive change and show the importance and power of our voice. . The health of our generation is at stake!
The changes developed by each of the participating companies under the program will be announced at a summit later in the year, and it is hoped that the initiative will become an annual highlight on the agendas of many other food companies.
Jenny Packwood, Corporate Affairs and Sustainability Manager at KFC, said: “This is a really exciting program that we are delighted to be part of. We have a role to play in influencing the food choices available to young people, and this program is a way of working directly with young people to shape our future plans. We’ve been working for years to reformulate our products and add lighter options to our range, but being able to do this in partnership with youth and Bite Back will be even more powerful.
Oonagh Turnbull, Head of Health Campaigns at Tesco, said: “At Tesco we believe passionately that healthy food choices should be available to everyone – whoever they are, wherever they live, whatever their budget. We are proud to be part of the journey with Bite Back, working together to help support the health of families and young people across the UK.
Cathy Port, Food and Beverage Manager for Costa Coffee, UK&I, mentioned: “We are excited to be a part of this program, to work with other industry players and most importantly, Bite Back youth, to help inform our food and beverage strategy. As the nation’s favorite cafe, with the largest footprint, we have a responsibility to families to continue to take positive steps to help provide choice on our menu, providing transparent nutrition information – so everyone can make an informed choice about what they consume. . We look forward to hearing lots of new and innovative ideas from everyone!
Paul Bedford, Policy Director at Deliveroo, said: “Deliveroo’s vision for health is simple: we want to provide the right information and a greater selection of healthier choices on our platform, along with improved navigation to help to find them. Working with Bite Back 2030 will shine a light on healthier options and help us explore new ways to make healthy eating as easy as possible. »
Cath Elliston, Head of Campaigns at Jamie Oliver Group, said: “Young people rightly expect the companies they support to lead the way on the issues that matter to them. We really look forward to working with Bite Back and some of the UK’s leading food brands to improve children’s health and explore opportunities for the future of food.
Giuseppe Battaini, R&I & IPRO Director at Danone UK & Ireland, said: “The scale of the obesity and malnutrition crisis in our country is undeniable. As a food industry, we need to act urgently to tackle these challenges and inspire healthy habits in UK consumers. Health is at the heart of everything we do at Danone, and has been since our beginnings more than a century ago. That’s why we’re excited to be part of the Food Systems Accelerator – we look forward to hearing from young people who are just as passionate about health as we are and to collaborating with others in our industry to spark a real change.
Emilie Stephenson, head of the UK’s Good Force at Innocent, said: ‘At Innocent our aim from day one has been to help ‘people live well and die old’, including providing food and natural and tasty drinks. In the UK, 9 out of 10 children do not eat enough fruit and vegetables, and our products are a way to solve this problem. However, with the FSA program, we can see beyond our company and have the opportunity to make even greater changes to society. Collaborating with different brands on these issues is the only way forward and it goes without saying that we are extremely excited.”
Lisa Priestley, Commercial Director at Chartwells, said: “Our main goal is to fuel the learning of future generations with nutritious and delicious food. Giving voice to young people to help shape and drive this agenda is fundamental to continuously innovating our offering and our operations in pursuit of this goal. We are delighted to partner with Bite Back to further strengthen our focus in this area.