FSANZ partners with GS1 Australia to create the Branded Food Database

Food Standards Australia New Zealand (FSANZ) has announced that they are working with GS1 Australia to develop a public online database of Australian branded food and beverage products, including private label products. The database will contain product information, which is accurate, comprehensive, and updated regularly. The information will assist health policy development for Government. Limited access will be provided to the wider community for research or simple information purposes.   

FSANZ and GS1 will work directly with food manufacturers and retailers to gather product information for the database, which will link to and expand on existing information stores including the Australian Food Composition Database. Food companies will provide the information about their products, rather than alternative approaches relied on by other databases. FSANZ’s goal is to have 85% of all packaged food and beverage products sold by national retailers, loaded and available by the end 2023.   

Loading of product information from brand owners will be through GS1’s National Product Catalogue, or alternatively directly through a FSANZ on-line portal from alternative systems such as the AFGC’s Product Information Form (PIF) v6 . Data collected will include a range of on-pack information including Global Trade Item Number (where applicable), manufacturer, brand and food name, nutrition information, listed ingredients, pack and serve size and Health Star Rating (HSR), if displayed. Where relevant, FSANZ will also collect off-pack information relating to HSR including HSR category and a product’s dietary fibre and fruit, vegetable, nut, and legume (FVNL) content. 

GS1 will also undertake a range of comprehensive data quality measures, including in-store product data audits, to ensure the accuracy and timelines on the database ensuring the data can be relied on by consumers and industry stakeholders alike.  

Over time, the database could link with other datasets to provide a more comprehensive picture of food and nutrient consumption patterns in the Australian population. The Branded Food Database has been funded by the Department of Health as part of its food and nutrition related initiatives such as the Healthy Food Partnership Reformulation Programand the Health Star Rating System. 

More detailed communications will be released in December and a focused industry engagement program will begin in January 2022.  

The AFGC will monitor this work through the normal regular communications with both organisations and FSANZ and GS1 will work directly with food manufacturers and retailers to gather product information for the database.