Food and health issues, although present worldwide, are shaped by national food cultures, legislation, politics, industry and more. And food is intertwined with society is many ways. This is why Choices wants to collaborate with experts from different sectors on national level. Such collaboration should be based on independent science to reach the greatest impact possible: a healthy diet within reach for everybody.
Science is a cornerstone of the Choices way of working, in three ways. in concept development, in implementation and in monitoring and impact assessment. The development and ongoing improvements of the international criteria are an excellent example of this science based concept development. In the implementation phase, the science of partnering is of great help.
The important role of science is illustrated by the Choices Scientific Committees. In the first place on international level, but also regional and national. These committees are be made up of independent leading scientists, to make sure that science prevails over specific interests.
In Africa, nutrient profiling based labelling and policies do not exist with the exemption of Nigeria’s Heart Logo. Choices advocates to policy makers, scientists and end users in selected African countries (Nigeria, Ghana, Kenya and Zambia) to increase the demand for nutrient profiling and engage them in the process of regional adaptation and application of nutrient profiling.
In East Asia, six countries have implemented positive Front-of-Pack (FOP) labelling. The discussion is on creating regional coherence and mutual recognition of FOP labelling systems and complementing these with other nutrition policies such as restricted marketing and taxation. Choices has helped many countries with the development of the FOP labelling and is involved in these discussions. We bring together the positive labelling countries together on a regular basis.
In Europe, the discussion on nutrient profiles and the use of these profiles in particular for front-of-pack labelling. Choices, as a global expert in nutrient profiling, is involved in these discussions. Besides, Choices brings the ten national positive logo programs in Europe together on a regular basis.