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NORTHFIELD, Ill.-- At California governor Arnold Schwarzenegger's Summit on Health, Nutrition and Obesity last week, Kraft Foods Inc., based here, was named a member of the event's honor roll, a distinction reserved for a select group of companies that have immediately responded to the governor's call for reform.
In acknowledging the recognition from Gov. Schwarzenegger, Roger K. Deromedi, Kraft's c.e.o., reaffirmed his company's commitment to addressing health concerns by announcing new products, new policies, and a $2 million pledge to support healthy lifestyles in the California community.
"Our health and wellness program is an important business initiative that we believe is critical to the long-term success of Kraft," Deromedi said. "We're taking steps that are responsive to societal concerns, while at the same time driving our business results by transforming our portfolio to better align with consumer trends."
Kraft was recognized at California's health summit because it has implemented a number of initiatives across the health and wellness spectrum, including developing new better-for-you product choices for consumers; adjusting its marketing policies; providing enhanced nutrition and healthy lifestyle information to consumers; and increasing its investments in programs that teach kids how to live healthier lives.
In related news, Kraft made another change to its children's marketing practices. By the end of 2006, only products that meet Kraft's Sensible Solution nutrition standards will appear on Kraft Web sites that primarily target children ages 6-11. The move strengthens earlier marketing policy changes, including advertising only Sensible Solution products in TV, radio and print media primarily viewed by children ages 6-11. Kraft also is working with others in the food industry to strengthen self-regulation of food and beverage marketing to younger children.
The company also debuted Nabisco 100 percent whole grain cookies and crackers, each of which is baked with 100 percent whole grain and contains zero grams of trans fat per serving. The new line, available in stores nationwide this month, features a number of varieties, including Wheat Thins crackers and Fig Newtons cookies.
The company also made a pledge of $2 million in grants through 2007 in support of healthier lifestyles in California. These programs will include: expanding salad bar availability in the Oakland Unified School District, partnering with Southern California food banks and health centers to combine distribution of nutritious foods with health screenings and medical referrals, and bringing Kraft's healthy lifestyles program for Latinos -- Salsa Sabor y Salud -- to eight community-based organizations in Los Angeles.
Kraft will also next year launch a health coach program as part of its employee benefits. Employees will be able to speak directly to healthcare professionals for one-on-one counseling to help achieve dietary and fitness goals for themselves and their families.
Gov. Schwarzenegger convened the summit of leaders and experts from business, transportation, education, government and public health communities to move forward with solutions to help address California's obesity epidemic. The Summit's Honor Roll was reserved for a select group of companies that are swiftly implementing new, innovative initiatives with leadership, vision, and commitment to the health of all Californians.
Kraft Foods markets many of the world's leading food brands, including Kraft cheese, Maxwell House and Jacobs coffees, Nabisco cookies and crackers, Philadelphia cream cheese, Oscar Mayer meats, Post cereals and Milka chocolates, in more than 155 countries.