Significant extension of the “Milan Declara-tion”
Bern, 14.02.2023 - More and more food manufacturers and retailers are ready to voluntarily reduce the sugar content in their foods. One retailer and nine manufacturers of drinks, together with the Federal President Alain Berset, have recently signed the “Milan Declaration”. They pledge to reduce the sugar content in soft drinks and dairy drinks as well as in quark. A total of 24 Swiss companies have decided voluntarily to reduce the sugar con-tent in foods.
The Swiss population consumes twice as much sugar as is recommended by the World Health Organisation (WHO), namely on average about 100 grams or about 25 sugar lumps per day. Too much sugar makes one ill: It can lead to obesity, cardiovascular complaints or type 2 diabetes, for example. These illnesses are the commonest causes of death in the population today. Consequently, the Federal Food Safety and Veterinary Office (FSVO), under the aegis of Federal Councillor Alain Berset, called for a sugar reduction in daily life in the “Milan Declaration" at the 2015 Milan Expo.
Up to now 14 Swiss food manufacturers and retailers have signed the Declaration. They have voluntarily pledged to reduce the sugar content in yoghurts and breakfast cereals step by step up to the end of 2024. With the addition of the new food groups soft drinks, dairy drinks and quark, ten further companies have now joined the “Milan Declaration”. The newly signed up companies want to reduce the sugar content of these products by 10 per cent by the end of 2024. Drinks of course are a major factor. Surveys show that 38 per cent of the added sugar in our diet originates from drinks.
Reduction targets are on course
In 2021 the FSVO carried out a strategic review that showed the agreed reduction steps in yoghurt and cereals would be achieved in 2024. On average, since 2018, the content of added sugar in yoghurts has fallen by five percent and in breakfast cereals by thirteen per cent. Intermediate agreed figures were five per cent in yoghurts and eight per cent in cereals. More and more products without added sugar are on the market. Newly launched products frequently have a significantly lower sugar content than the average. The FSVO will have completed their next survey by the end of 2024.
No agreement on reduced salt contents
The daily salt consumption of the Swiss population reaches nine grams per head and is also significantly more than the WHO recommendation of maximum five grams per day. Accordingly, the FSVO proposed to the food industry initial reduction targets for salt contents in soups and salad dressings. The market leaders have not agreed to implement these targets as yet. The FSVO will now examine regulatory measures for the reduction of the salt content in certain products.
These companies have signed the Milan Declaration:
New (since 14th February 2023): Mineralquellen Adelboden AG, Coca-Cola Schweiz GmbH, Goba AG, Mineralquelle Eptingen AG, Ramseier Suisse AG, Mineralquelle Rhäzüns, Rivella Group, Trivarga AG, Vivi Kola AG, Volg Konsumwaren AG
Previously: Aldi Suisse AG, bio-familia AG, Bossy Céréales SA, Coop Genossenschaft, Cremo SA, Danone Schweiz AG, Emmi Schweiz AG, Kellogg (Schweiz) GmbH, Lidl Schweiz AG, Migros-Genossenschafts-Bund, Molkerei Lanz AG, Nestlé Suisse S.A., Schweizerische Schälmühle E. Zwicky AG, Wander AG
Address for enquiries
Bundesamt für Lebensmittelsicherheit und Veterinärwesen (BLV)
Tel. 058 463 78 98
Federal Department of Home Affairs
Federal Food Safety and Veterinary Office