Global Food & Beverage Industry CEOs Renew Worldwide Health and Wellness Pledge

Eleven of the largest global food and beverage companies make enhanced commitments on: 

  • Product reformulation and innovation 
  • Nutrition labelling 
  • Responsible marketing to children 
  • Promotion of healthy lifestyles 

Brussels, Belgium, 22 September 2014 – In a letter to World Health Organization (WHO) Director‐ General Dr. Chan, CEOs of leading food and non‐alcoholic beverage companies and members of the International Food & Beverage Alliance (IFBA) announced a set of enhanced global commitments that will guide their health and wellness strategies over the coming years. These strategies are based on a set of actions recognized by WHO, governments and civil society as crucial to helping improve global health.

IFBA members have committed to continue to reformulate and innovate products with the goal of making available food and beverage choices that help people eat healthier, more balanced diets. Each member will make, and publish, a specific corporate commitment which details its goals and progress in this area by the end of 2014.

IFBA members will implement, by the end of 2016, a common global approach to the provision of nutrition information on pack, at point of sale and through other channels. This will include labelling the energy value for all products on front of pack worldwide.

IFBA members will also expand the IFBA Global Policy on Marketing and Advertising to Children, which provides that members either do not market products to children under 12 or if they do, limits what products can be marketed to children under 12. Currently applicable to TV, print and Internet, by the end of 2016 the expanded global policy will cover significantly more media; and ensure that members do not use marketing techniques in ways that are primarily directed to children under 12 for products that do not meet better‐for‐you nutrition criteria. As part of ongoing efforts to expand and enhance regional and national pledges on marketing to children, members will also work to harmonize nutrition criteria as they have done in the European Union and the U.S.A. pledge groups.

The health and well‐being of the 3.5 million people employed globally by IFBA members is an important priority and members have committed to extend workplace wellness programmes to help employees improve and sustain overall health and wellbeing, including working towards smoke‐free environments and offering healthy dining choices and nutrition information to staff.

In 2013, IFBA members welcomed the adoption by Member States of the WHO Global Action Plan on the Prevention and Control of Noncommunicable Diseases 2013‐2020 and the “whole‐of‐society” approach endorsed by governments. IFBA’s enhanced commitments include a pledge to work in collaboration with all stakeholders on strategies aimed at reducing sodium and the prevalence of insufficient physical activity called for in the global action plan.

Commenting on the enhanced commitments, Rocco Renaldi, Secretary‐General of IFBA said: “Consumers around the world will face many challenges related to food and nutrition in the coming years. We embrace the role to be part of the solution – through our foods and beverages, consumer education and responsible marketing we promote healthy lifestyles that balance consumption and activity. The enhanced IFBA commitments build on the substantial progress we have made since our members first came together to take collective global action in support of the advancement of the 2004 WHO Global Strategy on Diet, Physical Activity and Health and reflect the actions we believe are necessary as we move toward realizing the ultimate goal of improving public health.”