Ufi Ibrahim, CEO of the British Hospitality Association said:
“There is no silver bullet to the issue of encouraging people to eat more healthily in our country and this industry is 100% committed to doing its part, but it will no longer tolerate being the scape-goat for a much, much more complex problem. The catering industry has committed itself to positive actions to help combat health issues by diversifying menus, offering healthy choices, communicating calories and nutritional information and delivering food sourcing and safety.
“We very much support the NHS in its desire to encourage healthy eating, but the focus needs to be a joined up one across government – looking across both health and education. One place to start might be with improving health, wellness and nutritional education, an area that is often absent from basic primary school education. The catering industry has worked very closely with the previous government on its Responsibility Deal – a collaborative approach to healthy eating, nutrition and food choices. It’s concerning that the wheel is being reinvented yet again causing delays and money wasting. We’d like the government to maintain some continuity of focus and the private sector will be more than willing to engage.
“It is our fundamental belief that customers have the right and the ability to make smart decisions and to enjoy the food that suits them; be it a healthy meal or a special treat.
The catering industry firmly believes that quality options and information leads to good choices. We invite government to join us in trusting our customers to make good choices and supporting customers through education and wellness programmes in schools and local communities.”