An agreement on maximum levels for nutrients that impact a healthy diet

The FNLI (the Dutch food and drink federation) has signed an Agreement on Food Product Reformulation in January 2014, together with the Dutch retailers association CBL, the Dutch caterers association Veneca and the bar and restaurant sector organisation KHN. The Dutch Minister of Public Health has also signed this Agreement.

The Agreement includes maximum levels for nutrients that impact a healthy diet (and where relevant energy density) within the various product categories. These levels are agreed upon after extensive consultation with members of the signatories, thus establishing collectively maximum amounts at achievable levels for entire sectors. There is strong governmental involvement, embodied in an independent Scientific Advisory Committee appointed by the Minister of Health, which gives an opinion at the proposals for maximum levels of these nutrients. The proposals are initiated by the food sector.

Companies – manufacturers for their branded products and retailers for their private label products – voluntarily commit to the standards set and publish their commitments on a joint website. The FNLI works closely with its members (companies and sector organisations) on these issues.

Short description of initiative/ commitment

Year(s) the initiative/ commitment took place

Input (resources put into your initiative/ commitment) – where possible

Output (what has been achieved) – where possible

Sodium reduction in canned vegetables across the board in retail. 2010-2012Many working hours by FNLI, CBL (retailers), Dutch Association for Processed Vegetables and Fruits, and – obviously – the producers of the productsReduction of 30% of salt content across the board in retail.
Sodium reduction as well as saturated fat reduction in cold cuts2013-2015Many working hours by FNLI, CBL (retailers) and – obviously – the producers of the productsPlanned reduction of 10% less salt in certain cold cuts and sausage, as well as 5% reduction in saturated fats in one category of cold cuts.
Sodium reduction in soups and bouillons2014-2016Many working hours by FNLI, CBL (retailers), Dutch Association of Soups Producers and – obviously – the producers of the productsPlanned maximum level of sodium in soups of 375 mg per 100 ml of soup/.bouillon* by 2016.
Initiative by the Bread sector (both industrial bakeries and artisinal bakers) to reduce sodium in bread2009-2014Many working hours27% reduction of sodium in all bread.
Initiative by the Cheese Sector (dairy) to reduce the level of sodium in Gouda cheese (70% of all cheese production)2008-2013Many working hoursApp. 24% reduction in Gouda Cheese across the board (but – natrually starting off with the freshest cheeses)
Sugar (energy) reduction in certain dairy products2015-2017Many working hours by FNLI, CBL (retailers), Dutch Dairy Association and – obviously – the producers of the productsPlanned reduction of on average 5% less added sugar (or 3% total sugar) in desserts and dairy drinks (excl. the basic variants) across the board.
Calorie reduction in soft drinks2015-2020 (base is the situation January 2013)Many working hours by FNLI, CBL (retailers, Dutch Soft drinks Association) and – obviously – the producers of the productsPlanned reduction of Calories put onto the Dutch market through soft drinks by way of a combination of portion sizes reduction, marketing efforts and/or sugar reduction in the products concerned.
Planned action on Dry snacks (potato crisps, salty biscuits, Extruded snacks, etc.)2015 and further (not yet determined)Many working hours by FNLI, CBL (retailers), individual companies, Dutch Association of Bakery Wares and – obviously – the producers of the productsPlanned reduction of sodium in certain snacks and/or reduction of saturated fats in certain snacks
Planned action on sugar content in processed vegetables and/or fruits2015 and further (not yet determined)Many working hours by FNLI, CBL (retailers), Dutch Association for Processed Vegetables and Fruits, and – obviously – the producers of the productsPlans to reduce (added) sugar content of certain processed vegetables and fruits