The Netherlands Nutrition Centre
The Netherlands Nutrition Centre (Voedingscentrum) is the foremost authority consumers turn to for scientifically evidenced, independent information on healthy and safe food, as well as for making more sustainable food choices. We are an independent foundation, funded by the Dutch Ministries of Economic Affairs and of Health, Welfare and Sports.
The Netherlands Nutrition Centre (Voedingscentrum) provides information on- and encourages consumers to make healthier and more sustainable food choices.
Our mission is based on a number of general environmental factors:
- Nutrition is the basis of good health.
- Our food supply has an impact on society and the environment.
- We live in a pluriform and complex society.
- Everyone has freedom of choice.
Our vision illustrates how the Netherlands Nutrition Centre aims to achieve its mission.
- We are an authority on consumer information on food:
- We communicate independent information based on scientific consensus.
- We stimulate behavioural change and the availability of healthy choices.
- We use an integrated and comprehensive approach:
- Healthy food, food safety and the making of more sustainable choices are topics that cannot be viewed as separate issues. Within this context, we view sustainability from the perspective of food security, featuring energy consumption, the use of raw materials and waste as important themes.
- Our push approach is geared towards producers, with the aim of ensuring a readily available range of healthy and sustainable products. Our pull approach uses campaigns to boost consumer preferences for healthy and sustainable products.
- We are a binding force:
- We are associated with virtually all parties in the Netherlands that deal with food and nutrition. Our key position allows us to convey the essential message about healthy and more sustainable nutrition to a wide audience on a joint basis.
- We communicate directly to consumers and through intermediaries:
- Though our main communication tool, our website, we communicate directly with consumers.
- We choose to cooperate and share our knowledge and experience with both local and national professionals and the food industry. This allows a multiplier effect to be achieved.
- When working with third parties through Public Private Partnerships, we work according to a very strict code of conduct.
What we do
The Netherlands Nutrition Centre encourages consumers to develop and maintain healthy and more sustainable eating habits, and the food industry to produce a more sustainable range of food products. Essentially, we work to make 'the healthy choice the easy choice'. Partnering with local professionals and various other relevant parties, we serve as the link that brings them all together. Additionally, we provide effective tools to assist and support dieticians and staff at Area Health Authorities and infant welfare centres.
The activities of the Netherlands Nutrition Centre are divided into three programmes:
- The Healthy and Conscious Eating Habits programme allows scientific knowledge about food and nutrition to be tailored to individual consumers’ information demands. The programme consists of various themes. Central components are the Food Pyramid and New Eating Habits. Additionally we develop communication campaigns about Nutrition & Disease as well as Food Safety. Through the Supply & Distribution theme we advise the food industry about issues such as product improvement.
- The Stay Healthy All Your Life programme was developed to enable present and future generations to adopt healthy eating habits and achieve a good energy balance. The programme provides information explaining what healthy eating habits are and how to develop them, and how the energy balance works. We also take account of the needs and life phases of specific target groups. Instruments are provided to help users apply the available information in practice, geared to their individual needs and with due regard for the impact and role of the social and physical environment. Activities in this programme include:
- Providing support to local professionals who are involved in providing care to young children, with a view to preventing obesity and developing healthy eating habits;
- Empowering parents to make healthy choices in eating habits, thereby preventing their children from developing obesity;
- Encouraging healthy eating habits among children and young people (aged from 4 - 18).
- The primary goal of the Sustainable Food programme is to inform consumers about sustainable food. The information we provide will enable consumers to choose more sustainable eating habits. Additionally, we provide information about sustainable food to professional education institutions in order to generate awareness, amongst the professional workforce of the future, of healthy and sustainable food consumption. Within this programme, we devote special attention to young people as a target group.