The Pledge


The following is a draft pledge – at this stage only a proposal – for how organisations might commit to positive action to effect change. A detailed consultation on the commitments and wording is to take place starting with The Hudson Summit on May 25th.

The Pledge

Too much sugar can be detrimental to the health of British people, particularly children, who are consuming far too many hidden sugars. Much of this is coming from the soft drinks we choose.

The Government has announced plans for a national ‘sugar tax’ but this, in isolation, will not help to solve the nation’s health problems.

This pledge commits its signatories – UK retailers, manufacturers and  industry stakeholders – to specific actions to help tackle the national blights of obesity, diabetes and poor dental health by addressing:

  • Poor and incomprehensible labelling on soft drinks;
  • Over-promotion of unhealthy options inside high street stores;
  • A lack of clear and relevant public information to help consumers make informed choices.

My organisation pledges to promote healthier shopping choices by supporting:

  1. A voluntary kitemark scheme, administered by an independent body, that will classify ‘healthy’ soft drinks – those without excessive sugar, sweeteners and artificial additives;
  2. A V.A.T. cut from 20% to 5% on kitemarked drinks;
  3. “fairer shelf review” that will investigate potential solutions to the dominance of unhealthy, big brand drinks in the aisles of UK stores, without unduly penalising manufacturers, retailers or consumers.

We further commit to:

  • Contributing to or helping to promote a ‘fighting fund’ to raise national awareness of, and garner support for, these ideas; and
  • Appointing a senior representative who will work with fellow retailers, politicians, the soft drinks industry and the public via The Hudson Group so they can become a reality.

We understand that independent experts will now consult on detailed and workable policies that can be supported by all key stakeholders and we hope to commit to more specific proposals when they come forward.