Australian Food & Grocery Council

AFGC welcomes changes to food rating system implementation

The Australian Food and Grocery Council (AFGC) has welcomed the outcome of today’s Ministerial Council on food regulation in relation to the proposed Health Star Rating (HSR) system.

The constructive approach taken by the Assistant Minister for Health Senator Fiona Nash and her Department in working with the food industry on the development of the proposed Health Star Rating scheme has resulted in significant improvements to the scheme said the AFGC.

AFGC Chief Executive Mr Gary Dawson said the AFGC has been a strong supporter of clear front of pack nutritional information to better inform consumer choice, pioneering the Daily Intake Guide which now appears on more than 7000 products.

“The improved design of the Health Star Rating scheme, flexibility around its introduction and acknowledgement that it can coexist with existing front of pack schemes such as the Daily Intake Guide and the Heart Foundation Tick, are significant improvements.” said Mr Dawson.

“In addition there is acceptance that that it can be expensive for cash strapped companies to adopt major labelling changes and therefore a voluntary approach with an extended five year implementation period has been adopted.”

“Ultimately it will be up to food companies to assess the scheme and determine whether or not they adopt it.”

“The AFGC absolutely supports the right of companies to make their own assessment given ongoing concerns about aspects of the calculator used to determine a food’s star rating, and anomalies with respect to some food categories. Today’s ministerial council acknowledged the potential for the system to mislead consumers where a star rating may be inconsistent with the Australian Dietary Guidelines or when used to make comparisons across categories. This requires further work.”

“The AFGC will also continue to support the Daily Intake Guide which already provides clear front of pack nutrition information on more than 7000 products,” concluded Mr Dawson.

 

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More information: Natalie Wimmer 0450 728 660.