Food Foundation calls for mandatory scheme on health and sustainability targets

By Michelle Perrett

- Last updated on GMT

The report calls for mandatory action
The report calls for mandatory action

Related tags Supply chain

There is an urgent need for a legally enforced framework of health and sustainability targets across the food industry, The Food Foundation has said in its annual report.

The report on the State of the Nation’s Food Industry said this is needed to to address the “twin challenges​” of obesity-linked disease now crippling the NHS and the destructive impact of modern food production systems and eating habits on environment and climate.

The Food Foundation, along with a number of businesses, are calling on the Government to introduce a mandatory scheme for all large UK food businesses to report on sales of fruit and vegetables, sales of high fat salt and sugar foods, plant and meat-based proteins and the tonnage of unsold food which is thrown away.

Other businesses supporting this move include Aldi; Bidfood; Co-op; Compass Group UK & Ireland; Food4innov8ions Ltd; Greencore; Greggs; Lidl GB; Perfectly Fresh Ltd; Sainsbury’s; Sodexo; Sysco GB; Tesco; Waitrose; Young’s. 

Best and worst performing

The report has for the first time identified Britain’s best and worst performing supermarkets, caterers and restaurant chains in its league table of what businesses are doing to promote healthy, sustainable food. 

The outlets praised for their forward-thinking efforts to tackle these issues include Lidl, Tesco and Greggs as well as the current leaders, Sainsbury’s.   

It said that there has been “little or no effort”​ in this direction from caterers, restaurant chains or fast-food outlets with average calorie content for restaurant and takeaway foods double that of foods offered by supermarkets.  The report also showed food-to-go retailer Greggs standing out as the only quick service restaurant to have a target for sales of healthy food.


Registered nutritionist Rebecca Tobi, who is The Food Foundation's senior business and investor engagement manager, said: "The need for food businesses to address the twin issues of diet-related ill health and the climate crisis is more urgent than ever.

"If we are to meet government’s Net Zero commitments on climate change and reverse the downward trajectory of the nation’s health, it is imperative that food businesses recognise their responsibility.

"The retail sector is currently ahead when it comes to health and sustainability commitments – it’s time for caterers, restaurant chains and fast-food outlets do the same."

Related topics Obesity

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