Blog: Government intervention - right or wrong?
Dean Best | 22 October 2007
Obesity was back on the front pages here in the UK last week as the latest report into the state of the nation’s waistline was unveiled.
The findings won’t have surprised anyone too much – the country is getting morbidly obese, costing us millions in healthcare and our children, in particular, are at risk.
The majority of health campaigners, however, will feel disappointed that this latest investigation didn’t come packaged up with a clearer set of proposals on how to combat this crisis. The industry meanwhile will no doubt have been un-nerved by the change in emphasis in the report. Targeting individual responsibility, it basically said, had not worked and a top-down approach was needed. As I said, no particular policy options were mentioned, but my feeling was that increased regulation will be the natural outcome from these conclusions.
Far-reaching government intervention will have its critics. However, there was an example in Norway this week of a way the authorities could participate whole-heartedly in this debate without appearing draconian. The Norwegian Department of Health (DoH) has commenced legislative work to introduce a National Health Brand for food products by the end of 2008. The legislation, led by Health Minister Sylvia Brustad, will include the "broadest input from the foods industry and other interest groups" to establish a brand and brand logo. Let’s here your views on this. Can it work?
The issue of government intervention will have split the food industry in France, meanwhile, with the findings of the Attali report into the retail sector causing great controversy. Attali's suggestion that removing retail planning restrictions or legalising below-cost selling would kick-start the retail economy has been challenged by food maunfacturers.
Elsewhere, it’s been a more positive few days for the food industry. Retail sales in the UK seem to have bounced back after a poor summer. And, in order to leave you on a positive note, it's worth mentioning that despite rising costs and difficult consumer conditions at present, two of our industry’s powerhouses, Danone and Nestle, are enjoying buoyant sales.
The BBC turned to just-food today for insight on the price dispute between Tesco and Unilever....
Just weeks after buying UK turkey processor Bernard Matthews from administration, food tycoon Ranjit Boparan has struck a similar deal....
Shares in Tyson Foods slumped on Friday, closing down almost 9% after an analyst claimed a lawsuit facing the company could hit the US meat titan....
- Analysis: Tyson's shrewd investment in Beyond Meat
- Price an underlying tension across European FMCG
- Thailand: convenience to continue to thrive
- Danone's Q3 sales - what the analysts say
- Interview: Some Foods on rise of low-FODMAP market
- Bel takes majority stake in MOM Group
- Mars launches Maltesers in the US
- Unilever in continuing price spat with Musgrave
- China milk powder arrests prompt Fonterra "review"
- Nestle lowers outlook on "softer environment"
- The Big 15: Strategies and Priorities of Top Packaged Food Players in Comparison
- Omega-3 in Food and Beverage:Time for a Reboot?
- Packaged Food: Quarterly Statement Q3 2016
- Global Food Packaging: Innovating for Greater Convenience and Quality Image
- Constellation Brands, Inc. (STZ) - Financial and Strategic SWOT Analysis Review