The Board of Choices International Foundation (CIF) is looking for three new Directors. Two positions replace the current Chair and Director, whose terms have expired, and one to fill in a current vacancy. The Directors are appointed for a period of three years and may be reappointed for another term. Members of the board should be representatives of non-governmental organisations, foundations, knowledge institutes or universities, active in the field of nutrition and have a clear affinity with the objectives of CIF.
The Choices International Foundation's mission is to help shape national food systems to make the healthy choice the easy choice for consumers. The food system is complex and complicated, and changing it, demands a variety of actions, honest collaboration and a long-term commitment. Choices wants to improve daily diets by guiding consumers to find healthier products, guiding the industry to improve their products and collaborating with food & health authorities to shape effective national nutrition policies. Thereto, a differentiation is needed between healthier and less healthy food products. The science involved with this is called nutrient profiling. Over the years, CIF has developed its own nutrient profiling methodology and criteria, which is used as an external benchmark for multinationals in the food industry and serves as a reference base for our collaboration with national food & health authorities.
CIF was established in 2007 as a response to the WHO call to the food industry to help tackle the growing problem of overweight and diet-related diseases around the world. Initially, the programme consisted of an endorsement front-of-pack logo on food products that comply with a set of product criteria that use international dietary guidelines as their basis. The criteria were established by a group of independent scientists. These criteria were adapted to support national front-of-pack logo programs. CIF was founded and funded by multinationals Unilever and Friesland Campina. In recent years the influence of the companies on CIF was steadily diminished and completely abandoned in 2020 when CIF announced fundamental changes in its strategy. The geographical scope was broadened from Western to global scope, and the nutrition focus from positive logo programs to comprehensive sets of nutrition policies supported by a multi-level nutrient profiling system.1 Furthermore, the core funding from industry was stopped, in the expectation that CIF would receive funding from governments and/or donors to continue to develop and maintain its nutrient profiling system and support countries with the implementation of coherent nutrition policies based on a national nutrient profiling system.
The Choices International Board is responsible for taking the final decisions in the Foundation and currently consists of a Chair and two Directors, representatives of international non-governmental organizations or knowledge institutions. The Chair of Choices International Scientific Committee acts as Advisor to the Board.
The current Board members are:
The Board has appointed Dr Herbert Smorenburg as Executive Secretary and Treasurer / Managing Director of CIF. He is entrusted with, in its broadest interpretation, the administrative and organisational support of the Board and Scientific Committee. Assisted by the Managing Director, the Board is expected to lead CIF into the new phase of its more than 15 years of existence and guide the Managing Director in its next steps to fully implement CIF’s strategy. In particular, seeking new sources of funding requires the most urgent attention.
It is further expected that one of the Board members will act as Chair of the Board, actively promoting CIF’s approach, acting as the Foundation’s spokespersons and creating support for the initiative in different international networks. Internally, the Chair leads the board meetings.
Invited organisations can nominate candidates. Candidates may also apply without being invited. Invited organisations and applicants can send their nominations/applications to Dr Herbert Smorenburg by email at Herbert.Smorenburg@choicesprogramme.org or contact him by telephone: +31 627011363 or email for further information. Nominations are not binding. The Board shall appoint or refuse to appoint a nominee at its sole discretion.
1 More information about Choices can be found in our peer-reviewed publication: Tognon, G.; Beltramo, B.; Schilpzand, R.; Lissner, L.; Roodenburg, A.J.C.; Don, R.; Nair, K.M.; Nnam, N.; Hamaker, B.; Smorenburg, H. Development of the Choices 5-Level Criteria to Support Multiple Food System Actions. Nutrients 2021, 13, 4509. https://doi.org/10.3390/nu13124509