We are proud to have signed a new agreement alongside the Belgian Government, the Belgian Food and Drink Federation (FEVIA), and the Belgian Federation for Commerce and Services (Comeos), confirming our commitment to reduce calorie intake in Belgium by 5% by the end of 2016 (based on a 2012 baseline). The Belgian food and drink industry will work together to achieve the target by reducing sugar and/or fat content and providing portion-controlled packaging for consumers.
Our involvement marks an important milestone in our journey to help address the rising global challenge of obesity and complements our ambition to reduce the calorie content of our drinks by 10% by 2020. We aim to achieve this through ongoing innovation, front-of-pack nutritional labelling and promoting active, healthy lifestyles.
The ‘calorie reduction covenant’ will be measured against a January 2012 baseline and establishes Belgium as a frontrunner in Europe in helping consumers choose a healthier, more balanced diet. It includes a well-defined and broadly supported plan with a number of specific, concrete goals set for each product category.
The impact of the agreement will be monitored next year, after which further commitments may be made for 2017-2020. The soft drinks industry in Belgium has already committed to a 10% reduction in sugar content by 2020 against the same baseline. At CCEP, we are on target and ready for this second phase of the agreement, which will require us to reduce calorie intake in Belgium by a further 5% between 2017 and 2020.
We believe this is a major step forward in the ongoing dialogue with our stakeholders and the government to help consumers make the right choices. We know that solving a complex global challenge like obesity cannot be done by any one organisation in isolation so we must continue to work with multiple stakeholders across industry, government and civil society to drive step change.
The agreement was signed by Maggie De Block, Belgium Minister of Public Health, Dominique Michel, CEO of Comeos and Jean Eylenbosch, our Vice-President European Government Affairs and President of FEVIA.