In 2009, the Belgian federation of producers (FEVIA) and distributors (COMEOS) of food products in Belgium, together with the Belgian Government, made a joint commitment to reduce the amount of salt intake by 10% before the end of 2012.
Monitoring figures of FEVIA, communicated in September 2013, indicate a reduction of 16% to 36% in meat products, 22% in bread, 17% in powdered soup, 15% to 29% in ready meals and 7.5 to 20% in cheese.
Whereas the period of the Agreement with the Belgian Government was from 2009 till 2012, the actions of the food companies are still ongoing.
On the 13th of June 2016, a new action plan on product formulation was launched in Belgium by the minister of public health in collaboration with the food industry and the retailers. The action plan focusses on the reduction of energy intake and on the optimization of the nutritional composition of food products.
Results of the 2018 report show a positive trend
Results* for each product category:
- Soft drinks: -7% sugars
- Chocolate products: -1.2% saturated fat
- Biscuits and cakes: -3.2% saturated fat
- Dairy: -3.8% added sugars
- Plant based products: -18% sugars
- Breakfast cereals: -5.8% sugars; +13% fibres; +24.5% whole grain**
* Figures have been weighted according to the market share of branded products and private labels. More detailed information and reports are available on www.convenantevenwichtigevoeding.be or www.conventionalimentationequilibree.be.
** Figures only available for branded products.
For other sectors (margarines, ice cream, sugar, bakery products, potato products, meat products, snacks and nuts) that didn’t had a quantitative commitment, Fevia builded a website www.convenantevenwichtigevoeding.be or www.conventionalimentationequilibree.be with a database of examples of reformulated and new products launched between 2012 and 2017.
The sector also verified the impact of its efforts on the caloric intake among the Belgian population and used Euromonitor International’s Passport Nutrition (Edition 2017) to make an assessment. Results show that the average economic consumption of calories from packaged food and soft drinks (in retail alone) decreased between 2012-2016, which can be related to the efforts taken by the food sector.