Promoting the production of healthy food
The Dutch government’s food policy is aimed at promoting healthy and responsible food. It encourages the food industry to produce food that contains less salt, fat and sugar.
Agreement on reducing salt, saturated fats and sugar in food
The government wants consumers to have a greater range of healthy food options, making it easier for them to have a balanced diet. It is working to achieve this with producers, supermarkets, caterers and the hospitality industry. They have signed agreements on reducing the amount of salt, saturated fats and sugar in food products.
Making healthy choices easier
It should become easier for consumers to make a conscious choice in favour of healthy food. A healthy diet helps to prevent illness and overweight. The Netherlands Nutrition Centre gives independent information on nutrition and food safety. The Centre is financed by the Dutch government.
Nutrition labels, logos and quality marks
Information on food packaging helps consumers to opt for healthy food.
- Food labels tell you what a product’s ingredients are, what its nutritional value is, and how many calories it contains. They also tell you whether it contains any colourings, flavourings or preservatives.
There are several quality marks or logos for food products. Each has its own standards. Organic products bear the EKO label.
A healthy diet for young people
Special lessons and programmes exist to help schools increase pupils’ awareness of the need for a healthy diet, such as:
- The EU School Fruit Scheme, which provides pupils with fruit and vegetables three times a week. The programme is for primary and secondary schools.
The ‘healthy school canteens’ programme, which helps canteens at secondary and secondary vocational schools to offer healthier choices to their students.
The 'Jong Leren Eten' study pack that teaches schoolchildren about nutrition, for example through cooking and food tasting lessons, and school garden schemes.
Sources of government policy on healthy nutrition
The government bases its policy on recommendations issued by
- the independent Health Council of the Netherlands
the National Institute for Public Health and the Environment (RIVM), which regularly measures food and beverage consumption in the Netherlands.