The Business Confederation of the Valencian Community, CEV, has valued the agrifood companies of the Valencian Community in the I CEV Forum 'Committed to healthy eating', which has been held in Valencia.

The president of the CEV, Salvador Navarro, who has opened the day with the Consellera of Universal Health and Public Health, Ana Barceló, and the president of the Commission of the Agrifood Chain of the CEV, Rafael Juan, has valued the effort of sector adaptation to respond to the change in demand towards healthier and more environmentally friendly products. "The scenario changes, consumer preferences change, and Valencian companies strive, research and innovate," said Navarro.

As noted by the president of the CEV, The agri-food companies of the Valencian Community, whose exports amount to 6,000 million and represent 20% of the total in the Community, have become leaders at the national level for their commitment to healthy eating and this has been partly thanks to the increase in investment in research and technological development that they have carried out. In that sense Salvador Navarro, has claimed before the audience the support of the administration, because “in this way to respond to the demands of the market, again the collaboration between the private sector and the public is necessary again”, he concluded .

Meanwhile, the Minister Ana Barceló, who has advanced the development of a strategic plan for the prevention and treatment of obesity, has highlighted the commitment of Valencian agrifood companies to healthy eating and has encouraged them to continue working, researching and collaborating so that all companies understand how much they can contribute in health.

Rafael Juan has put voice to the companies of the sector and has lamented that the efforts go unnoticed before the public opinion. "Our commission seeks to contribute to these good practices so that other companies copy the example." In the same way, it has influenced the need for administration and business to work hand in hand "so that the products are healthier and also improve life habits".

The Forum has continued with the presentation "Challenges for the future in food production" by Mª Ángeles Dal Re Saavedra, Coordinator of the NAOS Strategy of the Spanish Agency for Food Safety and Nutrition, AESAN. Dal Re Saavedra has pointed out the need to “facilitate the healthier options for the consumer” and has ensured that experience tells them that “the change is manifest and that the collaboration with the sectors is total. Companies are part of the solution, so private public collaboration is from our necessary point of view. ”

Next, Mª Ángeles Dal Re Saavedra has explained each of the six most relevant actions that currently focus on the NAOS strategy in the field of nutrition and obesity prevention: the reformulation of the Collaboration Plan for the Improvement of Composition Food and Beverage 2020; front nutri-score labeling; the restriction of the publicity of foods and drinks directed to minors of 15 years; the improvement of food in the school environment and in public centers; the observatory of nutrition and the study of obesity and communication awareness. "While the policies can be very effective, none of them is sufficient in isolation," added the NAOS Strategy coordinator.

The event organized by the CEV has concluded with a round table moderated by the Director of Ainia Technological Center, Cristina del Campo, in which the regional secretary of Public Health and Public Health System, Isaura Navarro; the Director of Institutional Relations of Grupo Martínez, Leonor Saiz; the director of Institutional Relations of Grefusa, Juan Vicente Tamarit; the director of Quality and Systems of ANECOOP, Mª Carmen Morales; and the head of Quality and Innovation of Vicky Foods Productos S.L.U., Joaquín del Río.

The round table has shown the commitment of the agri-food industry of the Valencian Community with healthy eating. In the case of Vicky Foods, it has invested more than two million euros in innovation and has withdrawn about 1,400 tons of sugar from the market in three years. The Martínez Group has reduced salt content by 16% and fat by 5%. Since 2002 Grefusa does not use vegetable fat in its products and Aneccop increasingly invests in getting quality fruits and vegetables and improving packaging conditions.

In conclusion, All companies have agreed on the need to go hand in hand with the Administration and technology centers to offer better, healthier and sustainable products; they have indicated as an essential aspect the training and education in health and nutrition from the rigor and responsibility at all levels and ages of the consumer; and they have insisted on private public collaboration as the best formula to move forward in this direction and do it progressively.

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