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European Logo Round Table Prepares for Labelling Debate

February 21st, 2018

Copenhagen, 16th January 2018 - Every two years the major positive logos in Europe meet to exchange news and information. The fourth session took place on 16th January 2018 in UN City, Copenhagen and welcomed WHO Europe as observer. Attended by the president of the Choices International Scientific Committee and representatives from Keyhole Norway, Denmark and Sweden, from the Finnish Heart Logo, the Bulgarian labelling initiative, the Czech Choices program and the Choices International Foundation, the meeting also received information about Keyhole in Iceland and Lithuania, the Dutch Choices program and the Healthy Living program in Croatia.

The different national labelling programs show striking similarities. They all work on reformulation and education next to their positive label to guide consumer choice and they all prefer positive communication. The criteria of the different logos are based on the same principles such as a product group specific approach.

While most of the labelling programs are highly recognized and trusted in their own country, the time has come to be more active in the international debate on simplified nutrition labelling. WHO, Codex Alimentarius and the European Commission all have issued studies and inventories recently to find out which labelling options are present and how effective and science-based they are. Therefore the Round Table decided to bring all available studies on their logo together and to initiate new research, in order to feed this international debate and show the impact and substantiation of positive front-of-pack labelling.

For more information, please contact Bente Stærk (BEST@fvst.dk) or Rutger Schilpzand (rutger.schilpzand@choicesprogramme.org)

Choices International Announces New Board

February 6th, 2018

Choices International, the global platform for collaboration with industry, independent scientists, NGOs and health authorities to foster healthier food choices, has today announced a reorganisation of its Board. Formed in 2007 as an industry initiative, it has been increasingly recognised in many countries as a key stakeholder in food policy thanks to this collaboration. Choices has now reached a new point in the programme’s development. A new board is formed, comprised of an independent president, representatives from the national logo organizations and a quality seat on behalf of the International Scientific Committee. This Board will be responsible for governance, strategic vision and mission for the organisation. Industry, which was previously represented on the Board, will now provide input through an Industry Support Group advising the Board on long-term strategy and implementation. A special Scientific Advisory Group will bring industry nutrition experts together to offer technical advice to the independent International Scientific Committee about the feasibility of the Choices criteria. Decisions related to these criteria remain the sole responsibility of the International Scientific Committee itself, which is composed of leading independent scientists. Finally, Regional Industry Support Groups will be formed to support clusters of national Choices related programs in specific regions.

Choices firmly believes in the integrity of scientific collaboration and believes that collaboration with the private sector and other partners should continue to be done with clear guidelines, funding rules, and full transparency of interests and conflicts. In this respect, the new Choices organization is a response to the call by WHO for clarity and responsibility in the interaction with the food industry on NCD prevention. 

Clémence Ross, President of the Choices Board and former junior Minister of Health from The Netherlands, states: “The consensus on this step forward shows the determination of the Choices member companies to contribute to the credibility of our work. This step will facilitate further interaction with health authorities on global and national level, with the aim of a further promotion of healthy food choices”.

For more information visit www.choicesprogramme.org or contact Rutger Schilpzand at rutger.schilpzand@choicesprogramme.org; T +31 651 789 677.

CHOICES SEEKS SCIENTIFIC SECRETARY

February 1st, 2018

The Choices International Foundation is a globally operating Foundation, aimed at supporting national initiatives to foster healthier food choices including a positive front-of-pack logo. The global organisation is composed of the Board, the International Scientific Committee, the Industry Support Group and the secretariat. The organisation has a fully online structure, without an office.

The Choices International Secretariat has three tasks:

  1. Stakeholder management and secretariat coordination
  2. Scientific support
  3. Communication

The Secretariat is seeking a nutrition expert in the role of Scientific Secretary, for 3-4 days per week.  The position will commence asap.

Tasks: The Choices Scientific Secretary services the Choices scientific infrastructure, i.e.

  • running the secretariat of the International and Regional Scientific Committees and the Scientific Advisory Group
  • support of the use and development of the international criteria, including its adaptation in national criteria and the regular criteria revision by ISC
  • coordination of the science-based secretariat actions, such as the composition of the annual Research Overview and participation in scientific studies
  • supervision of interns and trainees of the Choices secretariat who execute a study or support the scientific activities
  • monitor global scientific developments in the areas of food and nutrition sciences
  • contribute from the science angle to the regular Choices communication in a newsletter, twitter, website and presentations.

Required qualities:

  • MSc level in nutrition
  • 1 year of experience in relevant fields
  • Interest in bridging between science, industry, government and NGOs
  • Fluent in English
  • Willingness to undertake international travel and irregular working hours
  • Pragmatic, flexible, cooperative
  • Able to work independently and be prepared to work in an online environment.

For further information contact:

Rutger Schilpzand, Coordinator, Choices Secretariat

rutger.schilpzand@choicesprogramme.org

Phone: +31 651 789 677

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