It follows the publication of Labour's New Approach to Public Health in the 21st Century policy document, in which Labour declared it would clamp down on the bad ingredients in food marketed substantially towards children by setting maximum limits.
The party also outlined proposals to pursue improvements to food labelling to help people better understand what they are eating, including working at EE level to introduce traffic-light labelling on packaged food and insisted it would give local authorities new powers so that local communities can limit the future number of fast food outlets locally.
“It’s concerning that the wheel is being reinvented yet again causing delays and money wasting,” Ufi Ibrahim, British Hospitality Association chief executive, said. “Our message for all political parties is to maintain some continuity of focus and the private sector will be more than willing to engage for the long-term.”
Ibrahim insisted customers had the right and the ability to make ‘smart decisions’ and to enjoy the food that suits them, be it a healthy meal or a special treat.
“The hospitality industry firmly believes that quality options and information leads to good choices,” she added. “We invite all political parties, ahead of the election to join us in trusting our customers to make good choices and supporting customers through education and wellness programmes in schools and local communities.”
Kate Nicholls, chief executive of the Association of Multiple Licensed retailers said: “What we want to avoid is any additional bureaucracy that will only hinder licensed hospitality businesses efforts to provide great experiences for customers who are choosing to dine out.
“Partnership schemes have the ability to direct the focus towards personal responsibility without the need for further regulation. There may be times when regulation is needed, but only as a matter of last resort and we will continue to lobby for increased focus on voluntary and partnership measures to provide our customers with informed choices and healthy options.”