Under the High Patronage of the Health & Food Safety Commissioner Vytenis Andriukaitis, the partners of the European FOOD programme organise a conference at the European Parliament on October 19th 2017.
This half-day event will be organised around two main sessions. The first one will present the results of the 5-year barometers of the programme launched simultaneously in the member countries towards thousands of employees and restaurant owners. These yearly surveys enable to collect data about habits and expectations of the target groups – employees and restaurants – regarding healthy eating offer and demand and monitor their evolution over the years. The second part will open a discussion about the opportunities and the potential of new technologies in supporting healthy eating promotion.
Hosted by MEP Alojz Peterle and MEP Daciana Octavia Sarbu the conference will welcome high-level speakers from different and complementary fields: DG SANTE, DG CONNECT, WHO, Universities, Health Ministries and the Horeca sector.
Please see the full programme here
Why is it essential to encourage healthy eating habits towards employees during their lunch break? What is the best way to help employees in their everyday food choices? Which messages and which tools are they expecting? What are the restaurants doing to answer their growing demand for healthy meals options?
How can new technologies induce change in the eating habits of employees? How can they support restaurants in adapting their food offer, therefore helping to reconnect the offer and the demand sides?
What are the main barriers and challenges linked to new technologies applied to health promotion and how to overcome them?
All these questions will be answered by the panellists and speakers and the audience will be able to actively participate thanks to voting devices.
The FOOD programme
The European FOOD -Fighting Obesity through Offer and Demand- programme was created as a project in 2009 thanks to the co-funding of the European Commission (DG SANTE).
Edenred, as lead partner and coordinator, proposed to representatives of Public Health Authorities, Nutritionists, Research centres and Universities in six countries (Belgium, the Czech Republic, France, Italy, Spain, and Sweden) to form a Consortium of partners.
All partners agreed to join forces in order to promote healthy eating habits during the working day. Benefiting from the unique network of meal vouchers used by millions of worker each day, messages and actions could be led towards two complementary target groups: employees and restaurants.
By working in parallel with these two groups, a coherent and effective project could take place, following a five-step methodology. Workers were reached during their office hours with the support of their company and restaurants were reached in order to help them offer healthier meals at lunch time. The demand and offer sides were then reconnected.
Most of the 28-month project was dedicated to understand the habits and knowledge of the target groups – employees and restaurants – in order for the partners to generate adapted nutritional recommendations. They had to be simple, ready to apply but at the same time ambitious enough. Several recommendations could be common to the six countries, enhancing the European added value of the project. They all reached 4,2 million workers and 352.000 restaurants through national communication campaigns. A strong evaluation followed, enabling the adaptation of the messages and communication tools and then a wider dissemination.
Despite the end of the EU funding in April 2011, the partners decided to take advantage of the actions and results and continued their cooperation under a long-term programme. The Health Ministries in Slovakia, Portugal and recently Austria joined the Consortium. Each new country applied the same five-step methodology and created a dedicated network of FOOD restaurants where employees can have access to healthy options.
Since the launch of the FOOD project in 2009, 380 communication tools have reached 5 million employees, 209.000 companies and 475.000 restaurants in the 9 participating countries and the FOOD network numbers more than 3.800 restaurants.