Food Industry Asia’s member companies in China have shown initial interest in the expansion of the public-private partnership platform, Asia Roundtable on Food Innovation for Improved Nutrition (ARoFIIN), into the country. This was communicated by delegates attending a health and nutrition-related break-out workshop held in Beijing on 16 June, in conjunction with Public Affairs Asia’s 2016 China Government Affairs Forum, which was attended by Cargill, Coca-Cola, Ferrero, Fonterra, Mars and Nestlé.
The Chinese members indicated that ARoFIIN was a good vehicle for the private sector to get involved with, and that its objectives resonated with the other sessions in the forum, in which many government affairs professionals in China highlighted that advocacy, through one-to-one talks (Industry to Government), may no longer work, but that engaging with multiple stakeholders via a platform could have more impact.
The objective of the session was to build awareness around the health and nutrition challenges faced across Asia, as well as to promote ARoFIIN among several key stakeholders in China. Guest speakers included Professor Duo Li of Zhejiang University, who is an expert consultant of the FAO/WHO Expert Consultation on Human Nutrition and on the WHO Expert Advisory Panel on Nutrition; Dr Zhang Huanmei, secretary of the expert review committee that oversaw revision of the Chinese dietary guidelines, Chinese Nutrition Society (CNS); and Ms Zhu Xinya, International Affairs Director at CNS.
Other topics discussed during the session included:
Front-of-pack labelling in China
The set of FOP labelling voluntary guidelines, which CNS has been developing in collaboration with the Choices Programme, is nearing completion. CNS is now at a stage of discussion over the adoption of a Healthier Choice Symbol-type logo, or a traffic light system. The timeline is yet to be confirmed.
CNS Salt Reduction Guide
The launch of the guide is expected to take place by the end of 2016. The guide will provide salt data analysis, salt reduction measures, and proposed salt reduction goals and initiatives.