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Assessing the 21 largest packaged food manufacturers in Australia on their policies and practices for supporting healthier food environments and improving population nutrition

2024 Combined Results.jpg

Company policies and practices for improving population nutrition varied substantially across the sector, with room for major improvement across the board.

Most companies recognised their role in addressing unhealthy diets and published overarching commitments to nutrition and health

Nine companies out of 21 companies have pledged for their products to meet the government's Healthy Food Partnership targets on sodium, sugar and/or saturated fat

16 out of 21 companies have some degree of commitment to implement the Health Star Rating on products, although overall implementation of HSR across the packaged food supply remains substantially below government targets

The industry self-regulatory code for marketing to children of unhealthy foods was updated to apply across all companies, however this code still falls far short of recommended best practice, with inadequate monitoring and compliance processes

Priority recommendations for the food manufacturing sector

Healthy food sales targets: Set company-wide targets to increase the proportion of sales from healthy products, and publicly report progress against this target each year.

Marketing to children: Reduce exposure of children to the marketing of unhealthy foods and brands across all marketing channels (e.g., broadcast media, online and product packaging) and settings (e.g., in-store settings, sports and recreational venue). 

Healthier products: Publicise specific, time-bound targets for reducing nutrients of concern (sodium, sugar, saturated fat, and trans fat) and energy/portion sizes of products. Routinely report on progress towards commitments and targets.

Better nutrition labelling: Commit to full implementation of the Health Star Rating system across all eligible products, with a specific roll-out plan and routine reporting of progress.

Affordability and accessibility of healthy products: Work with retailers to ensure that healthy and healthier products are widely available, affordably priced and prioritised in retailer price promotions and promotional campaigns. 

Transparency of external relationships: Publish all relationships (including funding and support) with external groups (e.g., political parties, professional organisations, research organisations, community and industry groups) related to health and nutrition, including lobbying activities. 

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