FSAI and Healthy Ireland Host Food Reformulation Event

Friday, 2 December 2022

The Food Reformulation Task Force, a partnership between the Food Safety Authority of Ireland (FSAI) and Healthy Ireland, hosted a workshop today on food reformulation for food manufacturers, retailers and the out-of-home food sector. Attendees at ‘Food Reformulation in Ireland: A Workshop for Food Businesses’ heard opening remarks from Dr Pamela Byrne, Chief Executive, FSAI, before presentations focusing on policy from the Department of Health, an insight into the National Prepared Consumer Food Centre by Teagasc and an explanation of supports available for food businesses as they work on reformulation by Enterprise Ireland. The workshop also featured case studies from Britvic Ireland, O’Brien Fine Foods, Sodexo and Nestlé.

Food reformulation means improving the nutritional content of commonly consumed processed foods and drinks by reducing calories and target nutrients (such as saturated fat, salt and sugar). The goal of reformulation is to reduce target nutrients without increasing the energy content or nutrients of concern to ensure healthier food choices are available to Irish consumers. The Food Reformulation Task Force is responsible for implementing a Reformulation Roadmap with specific targets which will continue to be tracked from initial baseline figures in 2015.

Speaking about the food reformulation workshop, Dr Pamela Byrne, CEO, FSAI said: “Today’s event has been a great opportunity for food businesses to come together and to hear what other businesses are doing to achieve food reformulation targets. In Ireland, 2/3 of the adult population are estimated to be obese or overweight. Obesity reduces life expectancy and people are more likely to get heart disease, stroke, type 2 diabetes, certain cancers, and other diseases. Food reformulation is one of the measures to help tackle obesity and to improve the health and wellbeing of consumers. We look forward to continuing to work with food businesses to ensure key targets are met, which result in healthier food options for consumers and improved health.”

Minister of State for Public Health, Wellbeing and National Drugs Strategy, Frank Feighan TD said: “The Department of Health is delighted to be working with the FSAI to ensure that food companies, such as those who attended today’s workshop, make progress towards reducing key markers in food and drinks. This could make a real difference in offering healthier choices to consumers. The Reformulation Roadmap is a crucial element of A Healthy Weight for Ireland, Ireland’s Obesity Policy and Action Plan. The Action Plan is the result of the Government's policy to assist its people to live healthier lives and in particular to reduce the levels of overweight and obesity.”

Food Reformulation Task Force
A Roadmap for Food Product Reformulation in Ireland
Obesity Policy and Action Plan