MONTREAL, May 4, 2012 /CNW Telbec/ - Pacini restaurants and Commensal&cie, part of Convivia Group, are the first to commit to offering Quebecers foods with higher nutritional value, with the Melior program.
The Melior program, launched last November, invites agri-food companies to actively commit to improving the food supply. The commitments can target a reduction in sodium, sugar or fat, for example, or increase the fibre content of products and menus. In this instance, Pacini is committing to reduce the sodium in most of its menu by up to 20% in the next two years and to offer the possibility of replacing white pasta (except lasagna) by whole wheat penne, at no additional cost. At Commensal&cie, no plate will contain more than a third of a teaspoon of salt.
"Melior will provide customized support to businesses ready to act to have a positive impact on public health, especially in a context where the food supply is often held responsible for health problems and obesity. Pacini and Commensal&cie are the first to make this commitment, but others have already started the process, which confirms the industry's willingness to make nutritional progress happen," explains Annick Van Campenhout, Chief Executive Officer of the Council for Food Progress Initiatives, the organization that drives the Melior program.
An actual answer to consumers' needs
"Melior also offers businesses access to independent, comprehensive expertise in their initiative," adds Ms. Van Campenhout. "We are convinced that businesses getting involved in the program can make a significant improvement to every Quebecer's plate by responding to consumers' specific needs."
The charter of commitments is divided into two categories: nutritional composition of products and menus, and access to products and menus with higher nutritional value. This new approach, unique in North America, stands out because it can be tailored to accommodate each company's unique circumstances, while giving them the opportunity to be innovative. Leading by example, Pacini and Commensal&cie have each signed their own charter of commitments according to their own commercial reality.
The Melior program will showcase at SIAL Canada (International Food Expo) from May 9 to 11 at Montreal's Palais des Congrès.
The Melior program, from the Latin word meliorare which means "to improve," is an initiative created in Quebec with the aim of helping put food with higher nutritional value on the market. The program of charters of voluntary commitments to nutritional progress is designed for agri-food industry members. It was inspired by a similar model that was implemented in France in 2006 and is the first initiative of its kind in North America. Any business that wishes to sign a charter determines its own commitments, within the bounds of its technical and commercial framework. A charter can be designed for a single company, a business group or a professional association. In all cases, charter goals must be realistic and measurable.
About the Council for Food Progress Initiatives
The Council for Food Progress Initiatives (CFPI) is a non-profit organization whose mission is to encourage Quebec agri-food companies to voluntarily commit to helping improve food quality in a substantial way, through their products and actions.
About Québec en Forme
The goal of Québec en Forme is to promote the adoption and maintenance of healthy eating habits and a physically active lifestyle by Quebec youths aged 0 to 17. For this reason, Québec en Forme provides assistance and support, throughout Quebec, to mobilized communities and organizations that promote projects to implement the necessary conditions to help children move more and eat better in their daily lives.
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Source: Council for Food Progress Initiatives
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