If you didn’t work in the industry it would easy to miss how hard food and drink companies have worked in recent years to keep shoppers in shape.

Certainly the trade knows better than to expect much credit for the ongoing wave of reformulation sweeping our leading brands from a media obsessed with HFSS alarmism.

Apropos of nothing, here’s a heads-up for one of The Grocer’s coming attractions.

On 9 November a gaggle of industry heavyweights will gather to debate food and health in (wait for it) The Grocer’s 2010 Food & Health Debate. Tickets have just gone on sale for the event, which is held near the heart of government at Westminster’s Central Hall.

The line-up is headed by Morrisons chief executive Dalton Philips, who will presumably have plenty to say about the supermarket’s efforts to cram five-a-day into its burgeoning army of shoppers.

Morrisons, of course, has made its revamped fresh offering a central plank of its growth plans in recent times. As The Grocer reported just the other week, the retailer’s latest initiative was a Veg Pledge designed to get school-kids growing their own fresh produce.

Needless to say, that sort of thing gets fewer headlines than the familiar retreads of how much salt is in a bag of crisps (or that hardy perennial, the pre-packed salad).

Although the Cameron-Clegg double-act has lost some of its novelty, it’s still early days for this coalition government. But the initial signs are that the no-longer-particularly-fresh administration will be a little less heavy-handed on the trade than its predecessor.

Hopefully the suits in Westminster’s most high-profile talking shop prove receptive to a little healthy debate.

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