Another meeting of the Norwegian Minister of Health’s working group for food businesses, in which Orkla participates, was held on 9 December. Group Director Håkon Mageli reported on the status of Orkla’s efforts to develop healthier foods.
At the working group’s meetings, the authorities and the food industry discuss joint initiatives to make foods healthier. The topics addressed include reduction of salt, saturated fat and sugar in foods, and responsible marketing.
“At Orkla we work actively to make our products healthier, and made significant cuts in our consumption of salt and saturated fat in 2015,” says Håkon Mageli, Group Director at Orkla. Preliminary figures reported by the Norwegian companies show that 31 tonnes of salt and 59 tonnes of saturated fat have been eliminated from Orkla products in 2015.
Most of this reduction applies to products where palm oil has been replaced with healthier types of fat, such as sunflower and shea oil. Products that now have a lower salt content include pizza, snacks, soups and sauces. Orkla has pledged to reduce the use of salt in its Norwegian products by 80 tonnes in the period from 2014 to 2018.
“By developing sugar-free and low-sugar products like Fun Light Green, Fun Light Squeezy, IFA Superfruit and New Energy nut bars, Orkla has helped to reduce the Norwegian people’s intake of sugar by 31 tonnes* in 2015,” Mageli says.
Orkla has made a strong commitment to the Food and Drink Industry Professional Practices Committee (MFU), which is tasked with monitoring that the industry does not market food and drink to children and young people.
“We consider it crucial that the food industry is part of the solution, as the authorities themselves have recommended. We also emphasise the need to give the system time to take effect, so that we can actually see the positive impact of industry-driven self-regulation,” says Mageli.
* Preliminary figures for 2015 reported by Orkla’s Norwegian companies.