Panimoliitto, Finland's brewing and soft drinks industry central organisation, has agreed not to market soft drinks in the country to children under the age of 12.

The body said today (16 January) that it has signed up to the Finnish government's Child Obesity Initiative (COI). Coca-Cola Finland and PepsiCo Nordic Finland, who are not members of the organisation, have also signed up to the COI.

Under Panimoliitto's agreement with the Ministry of Health and Social Services, the industry has agreed to remove all soft drinks product ads from secondary school vending machines by the end of this year. The machines will subsequently offer a a selection consisting of a minimum of 50% sugar-free drinks and an increased choice of low-calorie drinks.

"Panimoliitto takes the health of the nation seriously and wants to do its part in solving problems linked to obesity," said Panimoliito's chief executive, Timo Jaatinen.