Industry Seeks Constructive & Collaborative Response to Obesity
Joint Industry Statement on Preventative Health by the following organisations
Australian Food & Grocery Council, Australian Beverages Council, Australian Industry Group, Australasian Association of Convenience Stores, CANEGROWERS, Australian Sugar Milling Council, Australian Sugar Industry Alliance and Australian Association of National Advertisers
The food and beverages industry acknowledges that obesity is a serious and complex public health problem in Australia.
We believe it is appropriate for calls to be made for Australians to modify and improve their dietary intake.
However, we believe there is no single cause or quick fix solution. As such we welcome a conversation on establishing a broad and holistic approach to tackling obesity.
We broadly support the principles and spirit of today’s announcement, and note the significant achievements which have been made through collaboration with the public health sector under the Federal Government’s Healthy Food Partnership program and the rapid uptake of the voluntary Health Star Rating food labelling scheme which are examples of practical action to encourage healthier choices.
Industry continues to demonstrate strong compliance with self-regulatory food and beverage advertising Codes which have virtually removed all non-core food advertising primarily directed to children.
We are committed to working with public health groups, non-government organisations, and government to build on the positive changes already made to the food supply and to work with them to continue to drive positive change into the future.
As a food supply sector, we recognise that we have a role to play in improving the food choices available to all Australians.
We will continue to:
- Promote and support healthy balanced lifestyles that involve responsible eating habits and regular exercise
- Develop and provide clear and meaningful fact-based nutrition information and labelling, providing the information people need at point of purchase to make appropriate decisions for the occasion
- Increase the availability of products with fewer kilojoules, including more reduced, low and no-kilojoule product offerings, as well as more packaging options and smaller portion sizes
- Continue to work with successive governments in committing to significant investments to cooperatively tackle obesity, encourage healthy eating and empower food manufacturers to make positive changes to their product portfolios
- Ensure certain products are not marketed to children and comply with self-regulatory codes which have demonstrated effectiveness guiding responsible advertising
- Support physical activity and nutrition programmes, contributing to the research and evidence base and developing partnerships that advances nutrition science, and
- Support the interests of our sugarcane farmers, who provide vital jobs and community programs in regional and rural Australia.
The Australian retail, farming, grocery and beverage sectors contribute more than $311bn to the economy each year, and account for approximately 15% of the total workforce in Australia.
- Australian Food & Grocery Council: James Mathews – 0407 416 002
- Australian Beverages Council: William Roberts – 0431 318 893
- Australian Industry Group (Ai Group): Tim Piper – 0411 430 301
- Canegrowers: Dan Galligan – +61 429 707 809
- Australian Association of National Advertisers: Gabriel McDowell – 0417 260 918