Healthy Food Partnership Voluntary Food Reformulation Targets - Public Consultation

Closes 12 Nov 2018

Consultation Contents

The Healthy Food Partnership's Reformulation Working Group would like your feedback on some general aspects of the proposed Partnership Reformulation Program.  In addition, you may choose to respond to all or some of the draft reformulation targets, for the categories listed below.

The Rationale (Healthy Food Partnership: Evidence informing the Approach, Draft Targets and Modelling Outcomes) provides detailed information about the process used by the Reformulation Working Group to determine the draft targets.  Please read this document as you consider your submission. 

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Frequently Asked Questions have been prepared (see below).  If you have specific questions during the consultation period please email the Partnership Secretariat healthyfoodpartnership@health.gov.au.   Q&As will be updated on the Partnership website throughout the consultation period. (LINK) 

Note: You will be returned to this page after each set of questions; and can use the table of contents to navigate to the food categories / draft targets you wish to respond to.

DUE DATES FOR RESPONSES

24 September 2018

Responses due for all categories with ONLY a sodium target (24 subcategories).

22 October 2018

Responses due for all categories that have a sugar ONLY, sodium AND saturated fat, and sodium AND sugar target/s (12 subcategories).

12 November 2018

Responses due regarding categories where a portion size reduction (7 categories) or the use of healthier oils (3 categories) may be progressed in the future.

FAQs for Reformulation Working Group consultation

What is the Healthy Food Partnership?

The Healthy Food Partnership is a mechanism for government, the public health sector and the food industry to cooperatively tackle obesity, encourage healthy eating and empower food manufacturers to make positive changes.

The Healthy Food Partnership aims to improve the dietary habits of Australians by making healthier food choices easier and more accessible and by raising awareness of better food choices and portion sizes.

Five working groups were established, including the Reformulation Working Group which was tasked with developing food reformulation targets.  Reformulation targets are just one component of the Healthy Food Partnership.

The Healthy Food Partnership is a voluntary initiative. Can a voluntary food reformulation program really be effective?

Yes, and the Government’s preferred approach is to work collaboratively with industry and actively encourage them to continue to make positive changes.

The previous Food and Health Dialogue achieved significant reductions in sodium across nine food categories. Similarly the Healthy Food Partnership provides a mechanism for Government and industry to work voluntarily together.  The commitment made by industry to date, through previous initiatives and in designing the current proposed reformulation program, has proven that this approach is an effective way to improve the Australian food supply. Many manufacturers are already reformulating products – reformulation targets will provide guidance and a nudge to businesses not already participating, while providing clarity about the expected level change. 

What about the reformulation work already under taken by Australian companies?

The Healthy Food Partnership recognises that many companies are already reformulating their products to improve nutritional quality and aims to build on (rather than replicate) these efforts, including through the previous Food and Health Dialogue.  It is not the intention of the Healthy Food Partnership to disadvantage companies that are already reformulating, but to recognise and support their efforts to date, and encourage those companies that have yet to engage in reformulation activities to move towards improving the nutritional profile of their products.  Targets will create certainty for industry of what they, and their competitors, should be aiming for.

The Australian Beverages Council has announced a voluntary pledge to reduce sugar consumption from certain beverages.  Why is there a reformulation target proposed for certain sweetened beverages?

Some members of the Australian Beverages Council have pledged to reduce sugar consumption from certain types of non-alcoholic beverages.  As we understand it, this is a sales-weighed grouped portfolio target that (if met) will result in a 10% sugar reduction by 2020 and an additional 10% reduction by 2025 (i.e. 20% reduction in total) – both based on a January 1st 2016 baseline.  The Australian Beverages Council has listed ten different methods which individually or cumulatively may be used to meet the 20% target, one of which is product reformulation.

In developing draft targets, the Reformulation Working Group (RWG) identified that, based on the Australian Health Survey (2011-12) ‘soft drinks and energy drinks’ contributed 17% of the population level intake of sugars, based on self-report. In terms of soft drinks and energy drinks, roughly two-thirds of products have sugar levels ≥10g/100 and would be required to reformulate in order to meet the draft target (based on data from FoodTrack considered by the RWG). 

The draft reformulation targets for these products indicate the preferred position of the RWG for those products to be reformulated to reduce sugar content.  This reformulation may contribute to companies meeting the targets set by the Australian Beverages Council.  

How have draft reformulation targets been determined?

Draft reformulation targets were determined by the Partnership’s Reformulation Working Group, based on data, as shown in the flow chart on page 11 of the Rationale.  In addition, all food categories which had a reformulation target under the previous Food and Health Dialogue were considered for a Healthy Food Partnership target.

How will individual companies be engaged?

A number of food companies are involved in the Healthy Food Partnership and its working groups, as well as receiving updates through the Community of Interest.  Emails have been sent to many of the major manufacturers of products in the food categories identified for draft reformulation targets, inviting them to participate in the consultation process. 

Through the consultation period, questions may be sent to the Healthy Food Partnership Secretariat (healthyfoodpartnership@health.gov.au) and answers will be posted on the website for the information of everyone.

During implementation, companies will be encouraged to sign up via the Healthy Food Partnership website, to make a public commitment to work towards the reformulation targets.  This will be supported by awareness raising activities and recognition of companies who have signed up, made significant progress, or achieved the reformulation targets.

Do participating companies have to reformulate all of their products?

It is hoped that companies will reformulate as many of the in-scope products, for each food category, as possible, or to the greatest extent possible towards the target.  Individual companies will determine the priority order for their products to be reformulated.  From a public health perspective, the Healthy Food Partnership strongly encourages companies to reformulate those products whose combination of sales volume and nutrient profile make them the largest contributors of sodium, sugar, or saturated fat to the diet. 

The previous Food and Health Dialogue used an 80/20 rule to identify the major manufacturers. Is this still the case?

The Food and Health Dialogue sought to engage the largest players (based on market share) to determine and act upon targets for each nominated food category.  The Healthy Food Partnership will aim to engage all relevant manufacturers in implementing the targets.

What is the timeframe for meeting reformulation targets?

The Reformulation Working Group proposes a four year implementation period for each category, with all targets in place concurrently.  Consultation is seeking feedback about this proposal.

It will be up to each individual company to determine how it will reformulate its products within the agreed timeframe.  Companies may choose to work towards a target through a single reduction, or through multiple smaller reductions over the implementation timeframe. The implementation period allows time for research, product innovation, labelling changes, product shelf-life and for reformulation to occur in a staggered way to minimise the risk of sudden flavour and/or texture changes. 

How will reformulation activities be monitored?

Companies will be asked to identify through the Healthy Food Partnership website that they are participating in the Partnership Reformulation Program.  Companies will be asked to make a report on progress AT two years and AFTER four years of implementation (time period indicatively January 2019 – December 2020; and January 2021 – December 2022).  Reports will be treated in the strictest confidence, with aggregated reporting of achievements made public via the Healthy Food Partnership website and de-identified data made available for the preparation of monitoring reports.

How do companies benefit from participating in Healthy Food Partnership activities?

Public recognition of participating companies will be provided through media releases, the Healthy Food Partnership website and social media.

 

Page Response
Demographics (Required)
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Demographics (continued) (Required)
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General Questions (Required)
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Bread (Sodium)
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Flat Bread (Sodium)
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Breakfast Cereal (Sodium and Sugar)
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Cheese - Cheddar and cheddar style (Sodium)
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Cheese - Processed cheeses (Sodium)
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Crumbed and battered proteins - Meat and poultry (Sodium)
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Crumbed and battered proteins - Seafood (Sodium)
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Flavoured milk - Mammalian milks (Sugar)
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Flavoured milk - Dairy alternatives (Sugar)
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Gravies and sauces - Gravies and finishing sauces (Sodium)
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Gravies and sauces - Pesto (Sodium)
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Gravies and sauces - Asian-style sauces (Sodium)
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Gravies and sauces - Other savoury sauces (Sodium)
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Muesli bars (Sugar)
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Pizza (Sodium and Saturated fat)
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Processed Meat - Ham (Sodium)
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Processed Meat - Bacon (Sodium)
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Processed Meat - Processed deli meats (Sodium)
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Processed Meat - Frankfurts and saveloys (Sodium and Saturated fat)
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Ready meals (Sodium)
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Sausages (Sodium and Saturated fat)
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Savoury biscuits - Plain savoury crackers and soda biscuits (Sodium)
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Savoury biscuits - Plain corn, rice and other cakes (Sodium)
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Savoury biscuits - Flavoured biscuits, crackers and corn cakes (Sodium)
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Savoury pastries - Dry pastries (Sodium and Saturated fat)
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Savoury pastries - Wet pastries (Sodium and Saturated fat)
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Savoury snacks - Potato snacks (Sodium)
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Savoury snacks - Salt and vinegar snacks (Sodium)
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Savoury snacks - Extruded snacks (Sodium)
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Savoury snacks - Corn snacks (Sodium)
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Savoury snacks - Vegetable, grain and other snacks (Sodium)
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Beverages - Soft drinks (Sugar)
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Beverages - Flavoured water, flavoured mineral water, soda water and iced tea (Sugar)
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Soups (Sodium)
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Sweet bakery - Cakes, muffins and slices (Sodium)
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Sweetened yoghurt (Sugar)
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Portion size reduction and use of healthier oils
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