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New fund to help Scottish bakers make healthier products

Food and Drink Federation (FDF) Scotland launched a new fund, in partnership with Food Standards Scotland (FSS), aimed at helping Scottish bakery businesses to make their products healthier. The Healthier Bakery Fund is open to all businesses based in Scotland that produce sweet or savory bakery goods. This includes bakery and ingredient manufacturers, local butchers and bakers, cafes and restaurants and retailers, Scotland’s FDF says.

This fund will support projects that reduce the fat, sugar, calories, or salt content products or that increase fiber, wholegrain, or fruit and vegetable content in recipes. These changes can often be achieved by simple actions such as swapping shortening for a lower-fat alternative or incorporating wholemeal flour into a recipe, the Federation explains.

Businesses can use up to GBP 5,000 of funding to pay for activities such running trials with reformulated recipes or nutritional testing. The Healthier Bakery Fund is open until June 30, 2023.

Joanne Burns, FDF Scotland’s Reformulation for Health Manager, said: “I am delighted to launch the Healthier Bakery Fund – thank you to Food Standards Scotland for providing GBP 50,000 of funding that has made this possible.

Laura Wilson, Head of Public Health Nutrition at FSS, also said: “Reformulation is one of the most effective ways the food industry can help improve the everyday foods we eat. Our recent research found that the average calories in sweet bakery products, from out-of-home outlets such as coffee shops, bakeries and cafes, to be over 450, with the highest products reaching over 1,600 calories. The results are concerning as these products are among the top ten food and drinks purchased when eating out or ordering in. When put in context with the 2,000-calorie recommended average intake for a female, these products can make up a big proportion of a full day’s calories. This fund will support businesses to provide healthier options for everyone and support a healthier food environment.”

The Scottish Bakers association welcomed the initiative: “Our members have been focused for some time on improving ever further the quality and quantity of healthier products to meet the growing consumer demand for healthier options so additional financial support to continue to do this is welcome. However, this must go hand in hand with additional investment in consumer education and awareness on the simple steps people can take to eat more healthily whilst still being allowed the odd sweet treat for which our Scottish bakers are so renowned,” said Ian McGhee, President.

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