MISSISSAUGA – In responding to Mary L’Abbe’s recent article concerning Canada’s new Healthy Eating Strategy, it’s important to remember the food industry is an integral part of the food environment both as the major supplier of foods and as a primary consumer touchpoint via its food product labels and consumer insights. Canadian food and beverage manufacturers thus have a role to play in Health Canada’s initiative to revise the Canada Food Guide (CFG). Canadian food and beverage manufacturers support a revised CFG that is based on sound scientific evidence, reflects the food culture and behaviours of Canadians, and encompasses the Canadian food supply. We support CFG communications that resonate with consumers and educational messages that empower Canadians to make informed food choices.
There are many inroads the food industry can make to be involved in a measured way in the discussion on revising CFG. These include: sharing consumer insights to contribute to the knowledge on the food behaviours of Canadians; food product development and reformulation to produce foods consistent with healthy eating guidelines; food product labelling as a tool for disseminating relevant nutrition information to consumers; and, collaborating with other sectors to ensure CFG communications and educational messages are “on pulse” with Canadians. We agree that the goal of an effective CFG is not to mandate what Canadians eat. It’s to allow informed choices that lead to better health. Those questioning the value of our contribution do a disservice to Canadians who would benefit from the information and expertise that only industry can provide.
Anthony Fuchs I Director, Communications and Public Relations
Food & Consumer Products of Canada
2700 Matheson Blvd E., Suite 602E
Mississauga, ON L4W 4V9