Boost needed for diet and nutrition at sea

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Seahealth Denmark has received funding from the Danish Maritime Foundation to implement a breakthrough diet and nutrition project that will be taking a holistic look over the next two years at the whole area of food at sea.

The aim of the project is to encourage Danish companies to make more of an effort to improve the whole area of nutrition and health.

"With cutbacks in recent years to shipowners spending on food, in some places to the bone, it has affected the food quality and the well-being. Even ships not compromising on food budgets, may have problems with the diet quality. We have chosen to take up the challenge and are working on the basis that it must be possible to do things better. We will examine the “hurdles” and take some definite choices, that need to be made in this area to provide quality without compromising on food budgets. We want to identify reasonable solutions that give shipowners tools to manage their diet to ensure seamen's health and well-being," says Connie S. Gehrt, CEO Seahealth Denmark.


New maritime legislation focuses in nutrition and diet

The new Maritime Labour Convention 2006 (MLC 2006) also imposes requirements for the quality of food and the conditions under which it is produced in the galley, so there will be a natural focus on the area as part of its implementation.

So the project aims to use MLC 2006 as a lever to provide companies, masters and cooks with the tools they need to provide better, healthier food to crew, and since the financial aspects in the area play an important part of the project, the focus will also be on the best way to make use of resources.

"As a leading maritime nation, Denmark should take the lead, also when it comes to healthier food for crew. MLC provides the ideal opportunity to put the spotlight on food and health because Danish shipowners can do better. They are already making an effort but there are still areas where the bar needs to be raised," says Connie S. Gehrt.

In June 2006, Denmark signed up to MLC 2006 which will take effect when 30 countries have done so. This has created the basis for imposing more or less the same requirements for welfare aboard the majority of the world's merchant vessels at sea.


Invitation to participate

We are inviting companies, suppliers, ships’ cooks and others with an interest to contribute to the project. The first part of the project especially will involve visits to company offices and vessels but we are also inviting the industry to two themed days when we shall go through a structured process to identify common proposals for the most important challenges and solutions. We shall be doing so at a seminar on 11 October in Copenhagen and 3 November in the Philippines. So put a cross in your diary now.


Project NEPTUNE at MSSM 2011

We shall be fighting NEPTUNE's corner at the national conference on maritime safety, health and environment - MSSM 2011 - at Hotel Nyborg Strand on 29 -31 August 2011. We shall be making a presentation of the project and Seahealth Denmark invites all to dialogue at our booth where we shall be focusing on diet, nutrition and hygiene in the galley.