With portion sizes a key area of investigation for the sat-fat programme, announced last month, came another sign of a more measured approach, while this week the FSA confirmed it was dropping the protein cap on its notorious Nutrient Profiling Model. While the report concluded the NPM was fundamentally robust, this change will offer encouragement to cereal manufacturers as well as providing the most tangible evidence of change since our Weigh It Up! campaign.
The greatest achievement of Weigh It Up! was, arguably, Smith's appointment. The them-and-us mentality will surely be a thing of the past now the FSA is run by a CEO who's spent 30 years in food manufacturing. But it will not be easy to chart a course. With the Cabinet Office Food Matters report this week making the FSA a blueprint to be a public-facing organisation on safety, nutrition and sustainability comes yet more opportunity for conflict. A Defra report proposed we should drink UHT milk to cut down on refrigeration. The FSA itself has banned bottled water in its offices. And there are also industry concerns that the agency is looking to change the definition of 'chilled foods' in the belief that with a longer shelf life there will be less waste.
In steering through these choppy waters, Smith will need perhaps even greater deftness at the tiller than in his previous roles as a captain of industry.