Public Consultation- Food Regulation Policy Guideline

Closed 2 Feb 2020

Opened 25 Nov 2019



In August 2019 the Australia and New Zealand Ministerial Forum on Food Regulation (Forum) agreed to a program of activities under Priority two of the food regulation system to contribute towards reducing chronic disease related to obesity. One of these activities was to develop a Policy Guideline on food labelling to support consumers to make informed healthy choices (Policy Guideline).

The Policy Guideline will provide strategic guidance to Food Standards Australia New Zealand (FSANZ) about the Forum’s expectations about food labelling in relation to supporting consumers to make healthy choices. The Policy Guideline will support current and future food labelling topics to be considered through a whole-of-diet approach that uses the Dietary Guidelines as a principle focus and helps ensure that any emphasis on food labels about a particular nutrient or food is justified by the recommendations in the Australian and New Zealand Dietary Guidelines.

Policy guidelines aim to improve outcomes for all by making clear and unambiguous the policy principles that apply to jurisdictions and bodies making food regulations. The creation of a policy guideline does not trigger regulatory action by FSANZ or changes to current food labelling. However, when FSANZ is developing or reviewing food regulatory measures, a written policy guideline is one of a number of matters to which it must have regard (as outlined in the FSANZ Act 1991).

Why your views matter

Australia and New Zealand share a joint system for food labelling which is overseen by the Forum. The Forum is responsible for developing food regulation policy in the form of policy guidelines and to ensure stakeholder views are considered on proposed policies.

In August 2019 the Forum referred two pieces of work to FSANZ: labelling of sugars on packaged foods and drinks, and energy labelling on alcoholic beverages. In both of these pieces of work it was noted that current food labelling requirements were limiting consumers’ opportunity to make informed choices in support of the Dietary Guidelines.

A written policy guideline is one of a number of matters to which FSANZ must have regard developing or reviewing food regulatory measures. This Policy Guideline will give strategic guidance and outline the Forum’s expectations to FSANZ when it is considering the sugars labelling and energy labelling pieces of work and other future labelling related issues.

Policy Guideline

Food labelling information should provide consumers the opportunity to identify foods that contribute to healthy dietary patterns, as recommended in the Dietary Guidelines. The Policy Guideline aims to support this objective.

The draft Policy Guideline is at the bottom of this page under the 'Related Documents' heading. The Food Regulation Standing Committee (FRSC) has drafted the Policy Guideline on behalf of the Forum. FRSC is seeking stakeholder views on the proposed Policy Guideline.

Preview consultation

You can download a preview of this consultation under the 'Related documents' link at the bottom of this page.

Responding to the consultation

Responses to the consultation questions are to be submitted through this online consultation platform. It is not necessary to complete the survey in one sitting. You can save your answers and come back later. 

What happens next

The draft Policy Guideline will be updated based on feedback received and presented to the Forum for approval in the first half of 2020.


  • Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander People
  • Seniors
  • Men
  • Women
  • Carers and guardians
  • Families
  • Parents
  • Young people
  • Academics
  • Non-government organisations
  • State government agencies
  • Commonwealth agencies
  • Local governments
  • Health professionals
  • Health workforce
  • General public
  • Community groups
  • Businesses


  • Regulatory policy
  • Food standards
  • Preventative health