11/12/2019 2 mins

Monitoring the nutritional quality of the food supply in France: signature of a new OQALI framework agreement

On Wednesday 11 December, ANSES, INRA and the Ministries responsible for health, consumer affairs and food signed a new framework agreement for the French Food Observatory (OQALI), for the period 2020-2023. This will enable the Observatory to continue and strengthen its missions to monitor the nutritional quality of the supply of processed products, in order to support public policy-making on food.

OQALI's mission is to monitor the supply of processed food products on the French market by measuring changes in nutritional quality, in particular the nutritional composition and the information available on labelling. Created by the Act of 27 July 2010 for the modernisation of agriculture and fishing, and confirmed by the Act of 30 October 2018 on the balance of trade relations in the agricultural and food sector and healthy, sustainable and accessible food for all, known as "EGAlim", OQALI is operated by INRA and ANSES.

Each year, it publishes reports on changes in the nutritional quality of the food supply by sector, as well as specific studies on these changes, on the ingredients and on the relationship between nutritional quality and economic data on the products. The most recent report published in November 2019 focused on the use of additives in processed products.

OQALI's objectives form part of the National Food and Nutrition Programme, whose implementation is supported by the Food Programme (PNA) and the National Health and Nutrition Programme (PNNS). In 2018, OQALI was given new missions: it is now responsible for monitoring deployment of the Nutri-Score system and its impact on the reformulation of processed products. It has also been tasked with monitoring collective agreements between agri-food industry professionals and the State to reduce sugar, salt and fat levels and increase fibre levels in processed foods.

Lastly, OQALI is contributing to the debate on extending its methodology for monitoring the nutritional quality of the food supply to out-of-home dining and catering, and the overseas territories.

In addition, steps have already been taken to extend the OQALI model to the international level, such as with the JANPA project, co-led by ANSES and the Directorate General for Health.