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GCC Food & Beverage Companies Embrace Commitment to Phase-Out Trans Fat

GCC-based member companies of the International Food & Beverage Alliance welcome the global commitment to phase out industrially produced trans fat by the end of 2018

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Dubai, UAE,
Jun 23, 2016

General Mills, Kellogg Company of Great Britain Limited (Dubai Branch), Mars, Mondelēz International, Nestlé Middle East, PepsiCo, The Coca-Cola Company and Unilever – GCC-based member companies of the International Food & Beverage Alliance (IFBA) - embrace the commitment to a trans fat phase-out in their products.

IFBA companies have taken another step in progressing the nutrition commitments they first made to the World Health Organization in 2008 with the adoption of a worldwide commitment to phase out industrially produced trans fatty acids (TFAs) in their products. Building on the significant individual progress made to date and aiming to minimize intake of industrially produced TFAs, IFBA members have agreed a common global objective to reduce TFAs in their products to nutritionally insignificant levels (less than 1 gram of trans-fat per 100 grams of product) worldwide by the end of 2018 at the latest.

In the GCC, IFBA member companies have been voluntarily reformulating their products to remove partially hydrogenated oils – the major source of trans fat in processed foods – and increasing the use of healthier fats, such as mono- or polyunsaturated fatty acids. This is part of their ongoing efforts towards continuous product reformulation for healthier options including reduction of salt, saturated fat, sugar, smaller portion sizes, and provision of product alternatives with lower calories. The World Health Organization’s Global Action Plan for the Prevention and Control of Non-Communicable Diseases, 2013 -2020, calls on Member States to implement policies to replace industrially produced TFAs with unsaturated fats. This new commitment by IFBA member companies reflects support for this recommendation, including those products sold and manufactured in the GCC.

Reducing the intake of industrial trans fats to nutritionally insignificant levels has been identified as a priority in public health nutrition in the GCC. The commitment of the GCC based IFBA companies to achieve this in the region over the next two and half years supports this objective, encouraging the broader industry to achieve the same, and to work to define effective measures to ensure a level playing field in this area.

Driving forward Product Formulation and Innovation is one of four IFBA global commitments being implemented by member companies in the GCC. Earlier this year, the member companies also launched an enhanced version of their existing GCC Pledge on Responsible Food and Beverage Marketing to Children, first adopted in 2010. These companies do not direct any marketing communications to children below 12 years old, except for products that fulfil specific nutritional criteria based on sound scientific evidence. In addition to a commitment on marketing to children, the other commitments include: providing Nutrition Information to Consumers, including implementing fact-based nutrition labelling, and Promoting Healthy Diets and Lifestyles.

The International Food and Beverage Alliance:

The International Food and Beverage Alliance (IFBA) is a group of eleven global food and non-alcoholic beverage that share a common goal of helping people around the world achieve balanced diets, and healthy, active lifestyles. IFBA is a non-commercial, non-profit making organisation, in special consultative status with UN ECOSOC. For more information about IFBA, please visit www.ifballiance.org

In January 2009, IFBA members based in the GCC, Kellogg Company of Great Britain Limited (Dubai Branch), Mars, Mondelez International, Nestlé Middle East, PepsiCo, The Coca-Cola Company, and Unilever came together with the aim and objective of rolling out the global IFBA commitments across the GCC. In 2014 General Mills joined the group. As with IFBA our common goal is to help consumers in the GCC to achieve balanced diets and healthy active lifestyles. We believe that finding and implementing solutions to GCC public health challenges requires a whole-of-society effort and multi stakeholder collaboration. As with IFBA we are committed to doing our part and leading GCC industry in these efforts.

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