Healthy support for small businesses

According to the Scottish Food and Drink Federation (SFDF) and the Scottish Government, more and more small food businesses are making healthier foods.

Both the SFDF and the Scottish Government have said they are now working with 18 companies across Scotland to provide “tailored recipe change advice” to help with the reduction of sugar, fat and salt.

To date, the SFDF said, there has been an average of a 20% reduction in salt from a number of products, including oatcakes, steak pies and bread buns.

Recently, a family butcher in Stirling reduced the salt content in its premium range of sausages by a quarter. And Scotland’s Minister for Public Health Michael Matheson said: “Small businesses like T & R Skinner are really seeing the benefits of this innovative programme to make their products healthier, without impacting on sales.   

“At the start of a new year, it’s as good a time as any to start thinking a bit more about your diet, and how small changes can lead to big health improvements. Choosing a reformulated product that has less salt or sugar can be hugely beneficial to your health and, importantly, you don’t lose out on any of the taste.”

SFDF director Dr Colette Backwell explained the SFDF was happy that the government had recognised the organisation’s work in improving the health quality of food. She said: “As an industry, we are committed to playing our part in the improvement of public health and tackling the challenges of overweight and obesity alongside government and other partners.

“This programme gives the smaller companies at the core of our industry access to in-house new product development expertise, while maintaining the safety and quality of the great Scottish food and drink in which our consumers place their trust.”

In a statement to the press, a spokesperson from the Stirling-based butchers said: “Working with Chris Peace and the Reformulation Programme has enabled us to improve the consistency of our products, while also improving the health credentials. During the process of reformulation, we as a business have all gained a better understanding of the science behind the processes and what opportunities are available to reformulate products for health.

“Going forward we hope to continue working with the Reformulation Programme to further improve our products to continue to appeal to the modern food-educated and health-conscious consumer base we supply.”

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