Federal government and companies expand the Milan Declaration on sugar reduction

Bern, 05.09.2017 - Two years after the “Milan Declaration”, Federal Councillor Alain Berset, Swiss food producers and retail trade representatives have agreed specific targets for sugar reduction. Added sugar in yoghurts is to be reduced by a further 2.5 percent by the end of 2018, and added sugar in breakfast cereals by 5 percent. On the occasion of the second Round Table, the declaration was additionally signed by Aldi, Danone, Kellogg and Lidl.

With these four new companies, 14 major food producers and retail trade representatives have now signed the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU). The Milan Declaration was signed on 4 August 2015 at the Milan Expo together with Federal Councillor Alain Berset, with the aim of gradually reducing the sugar content in yoghurts and breakfast cereals by the end of 2018. The first ten companies to sign the MoU were bio-familia, Bossy Céréales, Coop, Cremo, Emmi, Migros, Molkerei Lanz, Nestlé, die Schweizerische Schälmühle E. Zwicky and Wander.

Sugar surveys show progress
In the summer of 2016, the Federal Food Safety and Veterinary Office (FSVO) conducted an initial survey of sugar content in yoghurt and breakfast cereals. The data collected showed that yoghurts contain an average of 17 g of sugar per pot (180 g), and breakfast cereals an average of 18 g of sugar per 100 g. At the end of August 2017, the results of the second sugar content survey showed that the average added sugar content in yoghurts has fallen since then by around 3 percent, and that in breakfast cereals by as much as around 5 percent. The data on sugar content are collected annually in order to verify the promised reduction in sugar and thus the effect of the Milan Declaration.

In parallel with the sugar survey, the FSVO has put out calls for two research contracts. This work will aim to establish by how much the sugar content in yoghurt and cereals can be reduced without this being perceived and without impairing product quality. The results of the two research contracts are expected to be available by 2019.

Mid-term review and extension of the MoU until 2024
The results of the second Round Table and the work done under the Milan Declaration show that efforts to reduce sugar are on course. Until the end of 2018, the companies will continue to work to reduce the sugar content of yoghurts and breakfast cereals even further in line with the Milan Declaration. In addition, a further reduction of an additional 2.5 percent for yoghurts and 5 percent for breakfast cereals will be targeted
during this period.

With these new targets, Swiss food producers and retailers are sending a clear signal. Because cooperation with food producers has proved successful, the Milan Declaration is to be continued after 2018 as part of the action plan for the Swiss nutritional strategy until 2024. Further food groups will be addressed and the work on salt and fats will be intensified.

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