Government backing for healthier products

THE Scottish Government, in partnership with the Scottish Food and Drink Federation, is running a further two-year programme for small businesses to make their products healthier.

The move sees hands-on support for small companies across Scotland, helping them to reduce levels of sugar, fat and salt in their everyday products.

Since the programme launch good progress has been made with a number of manufacturers based across Scotland, with the SFDF’s Technical Industry Manager providing tailored recipe change advice to businesses.

Across the country, customers are welcoming the healthier products and therefore creating more viable, sustainable businesses.

Minister for Public Health Michael Matheson said: “It is really encouraging to see small businesses making their products healthier, crucially without impacting on sales. Simple updates to recipes or processes can make all the difference, often without much impact on taste. And every little improvement in the product can help meet customer preferences for healthier shopping baskets.

“We must take steps now to tackle obesity. We have already introduced a range of measures to improve diet and are spending over £2.5m this year and the next on projects to encourage healthy eating, from diet projects in deprived areas to the HealthyLiving Award on the high street.

“Our programme for small businesses makes an important contribution, and we are having wider discussions with major manufacturers, retailers and caterers about broader actions to inspire healthier choices across the whole food spectrum.”

Dr Colette Backwell, Scottish Food and Drink Federation Director, said: “As an industry, we are committed to playing our part in the improvement of public health and tackling the challenges of overweight and obesity alongside Government and other partners.