THE IGD: Who, what and Why?
Well! Do you know what the IGD is? I, for one, had never heard of them! But I’m glad I know more about them now, and I thought you might be interested too so I thought I’d share the information with you.
understanding and insight and their knowledge allows them to deliver training and education programmes that set the industry standard. The organisation leads research for the domestic and international market, giving authoritative analysis of current and future market place dynamics which can lead to recommendations for best practice. They also tackle issues, forming cross-industry partnerships to deal with issues and bring benefits to the consumer and they also develop careers through their IGD Academy which delivers recognised qualifications.The IGD has more than 700 corporate members covering a broad spectrum of companies and organisations across the globe.ons as well as focused workshops on specific skills or challenges.
Their goals are:
- Being the industry experts on international food and grocery retailing and supply chain
- Leading thinking in our industry, helping to shape the future of food and grocery
- Providing valuable training and development that delivers career growth and benefits to business and the public
- Driving collaboration across all sectors of our industry, to develop and share best practice solutions
They believe in doing the right things for people.
- They have great team spirit in a supportive culture
- They value individuality in our team
- They believe in high standards and support their achievement through coaching and development to drive performance
They care about the impact they have by:
- Looking after their people
- Doing the right things for the community and public benefit
- Caring passionately about their customers and stakeholders
- Being environmentally responsible
Q: But what have they done for us?
Need some quick facts about the food and grocery industry? Here are some headline facts, figures and analysis.
The economic and social impact of the food and grocery industry, farming and food service
- Shoppers have a lot of choice – they may obtain food and drink from 350,000 dedicated outlets in the UK (90,500 shops and 259,000 food service locations)
- The total UK food industry provides more than 3.1m jobs – 14% of UK employment
- Last year, food and drink accounted for 15% of UK manufacturing output, up 3% over the last ten years and making it the largest manufacturing sector
- UK food exports are worth £16.9bn annually, up 15% year-on-year, accounting for 7% of UK goods exported
- Nearly three-quarters (71%) of the UK’s countryside is in agricultural production – modern management techniques seek to balance the needs of farming with environmental protection
- UK farming has become more energy efficient and more input efficient over the last ten years.
Achievements in nutrition, diet and health
- 30,000 tonnes of saturated fat were removed from products between 2005 and 2008
- Voluntary action by the food industry has been directly responsible for the drop in average consumer intakes of trans fats by more than half, to 1% of food energy
- UK shoppers have the highest level of nutrition knowledge in Europe – more than 80% are able to identify healthier options using labelling systems
Creating a sustainable supply chain, reducing waste, emitting less carbon
- More than 500,000 tonnes of food waste was prevented in 2006 by finding alternative uses for food by-products
- There is now zero growth in grocery packaging, despite a growth in the population and rising sales. A real decline is expected this year
- By working together, the food and grocery industry has taken 163m HGV miles off UK roads compared to 2007
What are some of the latest topics being looked at by the IGD?
The introduction in Denmark, Hungary and France of taxes on certain foods containing saturated fat or considered high in added sugar, has sparked a renewed debate on whether similar measures should be brought in to help address public health issues in the UK.
The coalition government currently favours a voluntary approach, enlisting the cooperation of food companies, charities and other organisations to deliver a Public Health Responsibility Deal.
To date, as part of the Responsibility Deal, food businesses have been encouraged to sign up to commitments on reduction of salt, elimination of artificial trans fats, and calorie labelling on menus, in addition to further pledges relating to physical activity, health at work, and alcohol.
What IGD is doing to help
IGD’s Industry Nutrition Strategy Group (INSG) recognised that food businesses can help consumers understand and achieve a healthy balanced diet through a number of communication channels. Businesses have the opportunity to deliver healthy eating messages and to reinforce them at different points of consumer engagement.
The INSG therefore developed a Best Practice Guide. The guide recommends that essential messages are based on the Department of Health’s ‘Eat well’ plate. This is aimed at people over the age of five years and shows how much of our diet should come from each of five food groups.
The plate is accompanied by simple messages to encourage a healthy balanced diet. By focusing on these simple messages, food businesses will help to reinforce them with consumers and encourage healthier eating choices.
EATWELL PLATE HEALTHY EATING MESSAGES
|Bread, rice, potatoes, pasta and other starchy foods|
|Eat plenty, choose wholegrain varieties when you can|
|Fruit and vegetables|
|Eat plenty, at least five portions of a variety of fruit and vegetables a day|
|Milk and dairy foods|
|Eat some, choose lower fat alternatives whenever possible or eat higher fat versions infrequently or in smaller amounts|
|Meat, fish, eggs, beans and other non-dairy sources of proteins|
|Eat some, choose lower fat alternatives whenever possible or eat higher fat versions infrequently or in smaller amounts. Aim for at least two portions of fish a week, including a portion of oily fish|
|Foods and drinks high in fat and/or sugar|
|Eat just a small amount|
|Try to choose options that are lower in salt when you can. Adults should have no more than 6 g of salt a day|
Other work the IGD is involved in
As part of its nutrition programme, IGD publishes other reports and guides for food businesses which aim to support these healthy eating messages. Two recent publications include:
- Best Practice Guide to Calculating and Communicating Fruit and Vegetable Portions in Composite Foods:This guide aims to promote consistency in the way in which the labelled fruit and vegetable content of composite foods is calculated. The guide also provides criteria that composite foods should meet in order for the fruit and vegetable content to be declared.
- The Role of Energy Density in Helping Consumers Make Healthy Choices:Addition of fruit and vegetables to composite products is one way in which the product’s ‘energy density’ or ‘calorie density’ may be reduced. Earlier this year, an INSG working group explored consumer understanding of the concept of energy density. They found that consumers understand the principles and concept, although they are not familiar with the more technical terminology. The report looks at how product energy density may be reduced from a technical perspective, and messages to help communicate the concept to consumers.
These publications add to a growing library of nutritional information which includes topics such as portion size, saturated fat communication, and sugars. IGD monitor the take up and implementation of their nutrition reports and guides to ensure that they meet the needs of food businesses.
HOW ARE THE HELPING US TO GET OUR FIVE-A-DAY
The government recommends that we eat at least five portions of a variety of fruit and vegetables every day.
This recommendation is based on scientific evidence of health benefits associated with eating at least 400g, or five 80g portions, of fruit and vegetables daily.
The reasons fruit and vegetables are good for us include:
- They are a good source of vitamins and minerals, including folate, vitamin C and potassium
- They are an excellent source of dietary fibre, which helps maintain a healthy gut and prevents constipation and other digestion problems
- They are usually low in fat and calories (provided you don’t fry them or roast them in lots of oil), so eating them can help you maintain a healthy weight and keep your heart healthy
Eating five portions of fruit and vegetables a day reduces the risk of serious health problems, such as heart disease, stroke, type 2 diabetes and obesity.
The message to eat five-a-day is well recognised by consumers. According to IGD’sresearch, 46% of shoppers expect to buy more products that contribute to their five daily portions of fruit and vegetables over the next 12 months.
However, we still don’t eat enough fruit and vegetables
The National Diet and Nutrition Survey (2008/2009) found that in the UK, adults consume on average 4.4 portions of fruit and vegetables a day. However, the range is from 0.9 to 10.2 portions per day for men, and 0.3 to 8.3 portions per day for women. For 11 to 18 year olds, mean consumption is 3.4 portions per day for boys and 2.8 portions per day for girls.
Therefore many people are not eating enough fruit and vegetables. One way to make it easier for people to eat fruit and vegetables is to include them in other foods whether these are main meals, snacks or drinks. Addition of fruit and vegetables to ‘composite’ foods is a convenient way to increase overall intake throughout the day.
Increasing fruit and vegetable intake through composite foods
Composite foods are those such as pies, soups, vegetable lasagne, fruit yoghurt, etc. that contain other ingredients besides fruit and vegetables. Composite foods make up a lot of the foods that we eat. The National Diet and Nutrition Survey found that we consume 40-50g of vegetables per day from these types of foods, which is a significant contribution to five-a-day.
Labelling five-a-day portions in prepared composite foods can help consumers increase their intake of fruit and vegetables. It will encourage food businesses to increase the fruit and vegetable content of their products, and may also help consumers when they are preparing and cooking food at home.
Best practice guide to calculating and communicating fruit and vegetable portions in composite foods
Many composite foods on sale in the UK already label the number of portions of fruit and vegetables they contain. However, in the absence of guidance on how to do this, businesses adopt their own criteria for what is communicated, and the nutritional content of products that are labelled.
IGD’s Industry Nutrition Strategy Group has therefore developed a Best Practice Guide to promote consistency in the way in which the labelled fruit and vegetable content of composite foods is calculated. The guide also provides criteria that composite foods should meet in order for the fruit and vegetable content to be declared.
The principles set out in the guide state that where a composite food contains fruit or vegetables, the number of portions may be communicated to consumers provided that:
- There is at least half a portion of fruit and vegetables in a portion of the product
- There is an appropriate variety of fruit and vegetables in a portion of the product (if more than one portion is declared)
- Disqualifying (nutrition) criteria are not exceeded
- Nutrition labelling is provided on the product
- Portion sizes of the product are appropriate
The disqualifying criteria set limits to the amount of sugar, salt and saturated fat allowed in a composite food labelled as contributing to your five-a-day.
The working group has also produced a report detailing development of the best practice guide which includes the information and data considered by the INSG working group. Both the best practice guide and the working group’s development report are available to download free from the IGD website.
These reports and guidelines, don’t forget, are predominantly for businesses in the industry but they do make interesting reading if you are intrigued about where your food comes from and what the industry is developing in the way of products. They do say knowledge is power and as consumers we should make ourselves aware of what the food industry is doing – after all, it is our health they are influencing.
I think that it’s great to know there is someone looking out for the consumer, I must admit I thought the food industry just did it’s own thing and usually the main focus was how to sell more, not let’s help people become healthier. I hope that you’ve enjoyed my little delve into the world of IGD and that it’s given you some food for thought (that was me trying to be funny?) Till next time…….
Thanks for keeping me company, wouldn’t be the same without you
I’ll be back again soon – oh and if there is a subject or topic you would like me to research, drop me a line at email@example.com
Bye for now
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Link to IGD website: www.igd.com