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Food Upfront - campaigning for clear food labelling

Food Upfront update

The UK government has recently announced that they will be introducing legislation to make calorie labelling mandatory in larger cafes, takeaways and restaurants and chains. This is one of the measures announced in Prime Minister Boris Johnson's new plans to tackle obesity. 

Get more information on the government's plans

We welcome this announcement which marks a key milestone in our Food Upfront campaign - but we will continue to push government to ensure that smaller food businesses are supported to improve their nutritional information too. 

Why we have been campaigning on this issue

We know it's not easy to find out what’s in your food. Nine out of ten people say clearer food labelling would help them make healthier food choices.

That's why our Food Upfront campaign called on the UK government and food industry to act and make nutritional labelling clear, consistent and compulsory.

In 2018 the UK government heard our calls, and launched a consultation on proposals to make calorie labelling mandatory in restaurants, cafes and takeaways.

And now, after many years of campaigning - and thanks to the attention you helped us to bring to this issue - the Prime Minister has announced new legislation will be introduced to make calorie labelling mandatory on food sold in restaurants, cafes and takeaways employing more than 250 people. 

The government have also committed to review and consider extending this requirement to smaller businesses within 5 years, and we will continue to work with government to push for this.

The government also announced a UK-wide review of front-of-pack labelling as part of the new obesity strategy. This is a great opportunity for us to push them to go further and make front-of-pack labelling mandatory on all packaged food and drink. We'll be responding to the consultation to represent the views of our Food Upfront campaigners.

The Welsh government have now committed to introducing calorie labelling for food eaten out of the home and promised to work with the UK government to improve front of pack nutritional labelling.

And Food Standards Scotland have also now officially recommended that the Scottish government introduce calorie labelling when people are eating out.

Watch this space and sign up if you want to hear more when we have news to share.

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Taking action - the story so far

Thanks to your support, leading restaurants and the UK government have heard the demand for stronger nutritional labelling. Here is what you have been doing to help move us a step closer to clearer labelling.

1. Signing the petition

In March 2018, almost 7,000 of you signed our petition, which is absolutely amazing. With this many signatures, the message is crystal clear - it's time for the government and industry to strengthen food labelling.

2. Writing to your MP

In April 2018 we took our cause to parliament to tell MPs why clear labelling is so important. Hundreds of you wrote to your MP asking them to meet with us and more than 50 MPs joined us and took action on the day.

3. Submitting the petition

In May 2018, we took our message directly to the Prime Minister by handing in the Food Upfront petition.

4. The government publishing their Childhood Obesity Plan

A major milestone for Food Upfront.

On 24 June 2018, the Government published a second chapter of their Childhood Obesity Plan. This includes proposals for clear, consistent and compulsory calorie labelling that were consulted on over the autumn.

5. Responding to the government consultation

We’ve submitted our response to the government consultation. Thousands of you shaped our response through focus groups in Cardiff, Glasgow, London and Wolverhampton and an online survey.

6. Getting restaurants, cafes and takeaways on board

We called on some of the biggest chains in the country to adopt the Food Upfront pledge. We sent thousands of your letters to the biggest chains in the country, urging them to improve their labelling. And some of them listened. We had meetings with leading restaurant chains to discuss their food labelling.

7. Urging the government not to delay

Hundreds of you responded to alarming media reports suggesting the government were seeking to delay the publication of the calorie labelling consultation. And nearly 2,000 people signed our open letter to the health minister urging him to take action and publish the consultation. 

We’ll keep calling for food labelling to be clear, consistent and compulsory. And the more people we have participating in this campaign, the louder our voice to industry and government will be.

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