Big news – we’ve hit a major milestone in the fight against obesity. On Monday, Tesco showed the power and scale of change big business is capable of authoring when it aligns good intentions with smart execution.
As of November 11th, Tesco will become the first retailer in the U.K. to have reformulated – reducing the sugar content of their fizzy drinks range to below the 5 grams of sugar per 100 milliliters threshold required under the governments newly minted Sugary Drinks Tax.
Tesco’s actions speak to the power of public demand, smart policy and government regulation. As the company has said, “the move supports the increasingly recognized recommendation that sugars should make up no more than 5 percent of people’s daily diet.” Very true!
These facts are known and part of a growing corporate narrative because we – in lockstep with countless other advocates – have campaigned hard. We’ve done so to make sure that expert advice and warnings were heard, made public – and internalized into the rights and rules that govern what’s allowed in our food and how we know it’s in there.
Without question, Tesco deserves accolades for being first out the gate. Turning the operations of a big business is never easy, nor fast. But they have – which makes clear that others can too.
Equally, Monday’s news is clear affirmation that the Sugary Drinks Tax works.
When business is given clear guidance from government, they’re both able and willing to take the leadership the sector requires. It makes reformation a competitive advantage – not a liability.
We look forward to welcoming more demonstrations of leadership that set our kids up for health – not harm.
And we encourage the government to make that possible – by putting clear policy forward to get the U.K. healthy.
It’s time business #reformulated. And it’s time to #TellTheresa the U.K. urgently needs an obesity strategy fit for purpose.