The Food and Drink Federation (FDF) Scotland, in partnership with Food Standards Scotland (FSS) have launched a new fund to help Scottish baker businesses in making their products healthier.
The Healthier Bakery Fund is open to all businesses based in Scotland that product sweet or savoury baked goods such as cakes, pies, pastries and bread. This includes bakery and ingredient manufacturers, local butchers and bakers, cafes and restaurants and retailers.
The FDF has been actively involved in an ongoing effort to address healthier food, with various initiatives that span salt, sugar and calorie content, as well as increasing fibre (as it launched its ‘Action on Fibre’ initiative in 2021). Comparing 2015 figures with 2021, the FDF reported that its members were selling goods with 15% less sugar, 13% fewer calories and 24% less salt.
This latest fund will support projects that reduce the fat, sugar, calories or salt content in loved products or increase fibre, wholegrain, or fruit and vegetable content in recipes. These changes can be achieved by simple actions such as swapping shortening for a lower-fat alternative or incorporating wholemeal flour into a recipe.
Food and drink producers have a desire to offer a wider range of healthier products, but associated costs can be challenging, which is why the fund has been launched to assist. Successful businesses will be able to use up to UK£5000 of funding to pay for activities such as trialling recipe changes or nutritional testing.
“I am delighted to launch the Healthier Bakery Fund – thank you to Food Standards Scotland for providing £50,000 of funding that has made this possible,” said Joanne Burns, Reformulation for Health Manager, FDF Scotland. “This funding will support food businesses across Scotland to make changes to their recipes that will allow shoppers to enjoy healthier bakery products.”
“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 1600 calories,” explained Laura Wilson, Head of Public Health Nutrition at FSS. “This fund will support businesses to provide healthier options for everyone and support a healthier food environment.”
Ian McGhee, President of Scottish Bakers echoed their sentiments as he said: “We welcome the launch of the Healthier Bakery Fund. 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.”
The Healthier Baker Fund is open until 30 June 2023. More information can be found on FDF Scotland’s website.
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