Frequently asked questions

What is the Melior program?

It is a charter of voluntary commitments for agri-food businesses aiming to improve Quebecers health through their plate of food.

What is improving the food supply?

It’s making our food healthier while preserving their great taste.

What does Melior aim for?

Ultimately, it’s improving Quebecers health. If businesses improve their products, then necessarily there will be an impact on public health.

What is the priority of Melior?

Our priority is simple; getting the most businesses to improve their food offering.

What are your priorities for action, for example, do you give priority to salt, sugar or fat reduction?

Our goal is to allow consumers to have access to a number of improved products; we leave it to businesses to propose these improvements. Salt, fat and sugar are all priorities, but increasing fibers and offering smaller portions, for example, are also very important.

How do you differ from other initiatives, such as Health Check?

Melior is not intended to certify healthy products, but to confirm the business commitment to improving its food supply. Melior is not a new logo to appear on products, it’s a rigorous process in which businesses decide to take part. It is important to distinguish a healthy product from an improved product. Melior vouch for the fact that the business has committed to improving specific products to make them healthier.

Are the businesses that have already made efforts to improve their nutritional offer eligible?

Yes, the efforts accomplished in the last 18 months preceding the charter application are considered.

Is there a minimal amount (%) of products required for the business to be Melior?

No, because what is taken into account is the global impact of the submitted commitments. It is therefore preferable to have a modification which affects the best-selling product than modifications on five products that have a lower demand.

What criteria determine if the proposed commitments are sufficient?

The only criterion is: will the proposed changes have a significant impact on public health. For example, if a business is reducing fat by 10% in only one of its products that is less popular, the impact may be less important than a 4% fat reduction in its best-selling product.

How long is the period between submitting the charter and its approval?

Two months at the most.

Has a charter ever been refused?

We only started a few months ago; therefore, we have not had to refuse a charter so far. Our approach also greatly reduces the chances to refuse a charter because we meet the businesses early in the process and we support them throughout it.

What happens if a commitment made by a business is not achieved?

The company will no longer be able to display itself as being Melior. In addition, Melior will publish the Melior Index, including various indicators, notably the businesses who completed their commitments, the progress of the others and the ones who do not complete their commitments.

The businesses have two years to reach their goals. What happens after two years?

Ideally, the business decides to go a little further in their commitment.

In concrete terms, what do the businesses get by committing through Melior?

They get a personalized accompaniment in their process, the credibility of a third party and different tools to communicate their commitment… all for free! It also gives the business the

opportunity to participate in a collective movement.

As a business, what is my return on investment?

The ability to respond to consumer concerns while having the approval of a third party which will make you approach more credible. As a business, you care about the health and needs of your consumers. They are becoming more health conscious and are also very sensitive to the social commitment of businesses. Melior is the answer to this consumer concern and to that concern you have as a business. The idea is to unite the efforts of businesses and make them known. Melior is also intended to convey information to consumers. You will be able to communicate that you are a committed business and that your customers matter.

How many businesses have joined so far?

We are proud to have already signed three charters in less than a year: Pacini, Commensal & Cie and IGA supermarkets. By comparison, in France, Melior’s pioneer country, the first charter took longer to be signed.

Is Melior recognized by the government?

Yes. The approach has the government support. Melior is supported by all the partners, including the Ministère de la Santé.

Where does the program gets its funding from?

The programme is made possible through support and funding from Québec en Forme.

Will Melior attest that a product is healthy?

By no means! Melior vouch of businesses commitments to improve its food supply. From the Latin meaning “improve”, Melior confirms that it is an improved product, but not necessarily a healthy product.

How will we know which businesses are Melior?

Melior will do a public campaign and businesses can make known their commitments, as they do for ISO for example. Also, you can find the list of committed businesses and their proposed improvements here.

Why businesses cannot simply put the logo on their products?

The role of Melior is to support businesses in their efforts towards offering healthier products and to get a third party’s approval for their approach. We do not believe adding another logo would help in the already overcrowded logo world. However, nothing prevents businesses from indicating, for example, “10% salt reduction” on their product..