from Martin Paterson, deputy DG, Food and Drink Federation

Sir; The Grocer’s article ‘Asda cuts cost of health’ (January 8, p4) is a timely reminder of the scale of the work the food and drink manufacturing and retailing industries are doing in the area of food and health.
In 2000, the FDF produced the first nationwide survey of the use of salt in food that was manufactured. In spring of last year we set out commitments for the entire food and drink chain and the advertising industries on participating in a campaign of public education on healthy eating and healthy lifestyles, led by the government.
After this, the FDF’s Food and Health Manifesto, launched in autumn 2004, committed the industry to initiatives in seven key areas in food and health.
We are already seeing companies put these commitments into action. The food industry is looking at the information on pack and where it can be improved. An ever wider choice of products is coming on to the market with
lower salt, sugar and fat options. Branding is being taken off vending machines, and more and more companies are establishing and promoting healthy workplace schemes.
Our industry, right along the chain, is committed to its consumers, and to providing them with the widest choice of products and information to enjoy them, and this commitment will continue through 2005 and beyond.