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FOOD CONFERENCE: Balanced Nutrition at Work

31st May 2011
FOOD Conference: The 30 partners met at the European Parliament in Brussels to present the FOOD programme

With more than 160 participants & under the high patronage of the Hungarian Presidency of the European Union, the FOOD (Fighting Obesity through Offer and Demand) conference took place at the European Parliament in Brussels.

The conference was a showcase for the two-year FOOD (Fighting Obesity through Offer and Demand) pilot project, which ended in April 2011and marked the beginning of a new implementation phase in other member countries.

Experts from all over Europe joined 30 partners from the public and private sector in order to share their experience and contribute to the next phases of this programme.

The plenary session in the morning hosted more than 160 participants from 10am to 1pm and enabled to cross the strategies at national scale thanks to the FOOD partners and at European and international scales with the intervention of the WHO, the European Commission and the European Parliament representatives.

  • A first round table on the importance of eating a balanced diet during the working day chaired by Christopher Wanjek, author of Food at Work, published by the International Labour Organisation
  • A second round table presenting the results of the FOOD (Fighting Obesity through Offer and Demand) project: a successful Public-Private Partnership headed by Professor Martin Caraher from City University in London

Following this plenary conference, there was the opportunity to taste national specialities from the six FOOD countries created by EuroToques and Chef Jiří Král.

The afternoon practical workshops welcomed around 80 people from 2.30pm to 4.30pm to explain the content of the recommendations and the communication strategies country by country. It was also the opportunity to introduce the 7th country that entered the project Slovakia.

  • A first workshop for companies looking to develop the FOOD programme
  • A second workshop aimed at understanding the programme through discussions with nutritionists.

The Conference was attended by high-level participants, including:

  • Vice-President of the European Commission, Antonio Tajani
  • Despina Spanou, DG SANCO, President of the EU Action Platform on Diet, Physical Activity and Health
  • Gábor Baranyai, Hungarian Deputy European Affairs Minister,
  • European representatives Elisabetta Gardini and Mario Mauro
  • Jacques Stern, President and Managing Director of Edenred
  • Caroline Bollars, World Health Organisation (WHO), Regional Office for Europe
  • Professor Ambroise Martin from Claude Bernard Faculty of Medicine
  • Olivier Christiaens from the Federal Public Service for Health, Food Chain Safety and Environment, Belgium
  • Juan Ballesteros from the Spanish Food Safety and Nutrition Agency (AESAN)
  • Professor Martin Caraher, City University in London
  • Professor Agneta Yngve from the Karolinska Institutet

Panelists reported on results from the FOOD project’s methodology and discussed lessons learned from the successful public-private partnership approach. Moderator Martin Caraher pointed out that long-term change regarding balanced nutrition could take 15 to 20 years, but the FOOD project proves much can be accomplished in the short term.

The discussion between the speakers led to encouraging remarks, such as Ms. Spanou‘s conclusion: “We are trying to spread good practices geographically. It’s excellent to see projects among six member states” (...) “The FOOD project can offer opportunities to the member states”.

The FOOD project partners are pursuing their efforts for at least another three years even though the pilot has ended. “The project is becoming a programme and is open to new partners and new Member States,” explained Nolwenn Bertrand, Co-coordinator, Edenred. “We can still improve the programme and we can work with different kinds of partners.”

The objectives of the FOOD consortium include:

  • Disseminating the results and communication initiatives in the six pilot countries;
  • Introducing the FOOD programme to other countries;
  • Continuing to exchange best practices within the consortium; and
  • Ensuring an evaluation of the initiatives, commitments and tools used by the target groups.

The methodology developed and the deliverables are expected to attract new partners from other countries. Edenred continues to coordinate the programme and is actively encouraging new partners to join the consortium.”

- Discover the FOOD programme video

- Download the minutes of the Conference


Documents