Reformulation Working Group

Page last updated: 21 February 2019

The Reformulation Working Group will establish priorities for food reformulation which may help consumers achieve dietary patterns that are consistent with the Australian Dietary Guidelines (ADGs) and protect and promote good health.

Key activities of the Reformulation Working Group will be to:

  • Assess which nutrients, foods and categories should be included within a reformulation program to support achievement of the ADGs, and determine how these are to be prioritised
  • Examine reformulation work to date in the Australian marketplace and international initiatives, including evidence for effectiveness where available
  • Set measurable targets for reformulation which would apply to manufactured foods sold through retail and food service
  • Set targets/guidelines for foods prepared on site (in food service)

Membership

  • Vanessa Clarkson (Chair)
  • Fritz Meyer (Co-chair)
  • Trish Guy
  • Anne-Marie Mackintosh
  • Jacqui Webster
  • Michael Depalo
  • Julie-Anne McWhinnie
  • Clare Bleys
  • Xenia Cleanthous
  • Rivkeh Haryono

Work plan
Work Plan for Reformulation Working Group (PDF 136 KB)
Work Plan for Reformulation Working Group (Word 39 KB)

Healthy Food Partnership Reformulation Program

#The Reformulation Program document below has been updated as at 3 September 2018 as an inconsistency was identified within the document.

Healthy Food Partnership Reformulation Program: Evidence Informing the Approach, Draft Targets and Modelling Outcomes (PDF 1.6 MB)
Healthy Food Partnership Reformulation Program: Evidence Informing the Approach, Draft Targets and Modelling Outcomes (Word 1.1 MB)

Updates from the Reformulation Working Group

21 February 2019

The Reformulation Working Group (RWG) would like to thank everyone who made a submission on the draft reformulation targets. The RWG is currently considering these as well as assessments of potential risks posed by a reformulation program for sodium reduction.

A report summarising the sodium submissions and the RWGs recommendations is being prepared. Work is continuing on the reports for sugars and saturated fat targets and further targeted consultation on categories in which a significant change is proposed will be undertaken.

The RWG will finalise the reformulation targets in two stages –

Stage 1 - A recommendation about food categories with only a sodium target will be made to the Partnership’s Executive Committee in late March 2019; and
Stage 2 - Consideration of targets for saturated fats, sugars, or sodium plus sugar/ saturated fat will continue and a further update on anticipated timeframes provided in the coming months.

Submissions made during the consultation process have now been made available via the consultation hub, where publication has been consented to.

16 July 2018

The Reformulation Working Group has considered nutrients and food categories relating to potential new voluntary targets for reformulating food products.

The targets build on current voluntary actions being undertaken by the food industry, and targets set under the previous Food and Health Dialogue; and are being considered for sodium, saturated fat and sugars.

Extended public consultation on the food category definitions and draft targets for sodium, saturated fat and sugars is now open.

The food categories identified are amongst the main contributors to population intake of the three identified risk-associated nutrients, according to data collected under the National Nutrition and Physical Activity Survey in 2011-12 (the most recent available data).

For more information on the public consultation and submission process please visit the consultation web page.

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.

If you have any questions please email them to healthyfoodpartnership@health.gov.au

8 December 2017

The Reformulation Working Group is progressing well with the work plan and has been focusing its efforts on developing a document that provides a rationale for reformulation (and the actions of the group).  This document will, among other things:

  • Situate the reformulation program in the context of the broader Partnership Program – noting that other Partnership working groups are considering actions that enable and encourage Australians to achieve the Australian Dietary Guidelines; and
  • Provide rationale for a reformulation program, including data on health outcomes and the cost effectiveness of it as a public health intervention

The working group is also determining targets for the identified categories and nutrients based on the results of the Australian Health Survey and will undertake modelling to determine the potential impact of targets.
Upon completion of the modelling in the first quarter of 2018 and noting that reformulation timeframes and milestones may vary between categories and nutrients, food industry will be consulted on the draft targets.

19 May 2017

The Reformulation Working Group (RWG) has met on a number of occasions and is making good progress against the activities in its work plan. The current priority for the working group is the collation and analysis of data to inform a decision about which food categories and nutrients to target for reformulation.

The RWG is looking to consumption data from the Australian Health Survey and information contained within the Australian Dietary Guidelines, the Nutrient Reference Values and the Australian Burden of Disease Study. This combination of information will assist the group to determine where to focus action in order to have the greatest impact. The RWG is also considering the role that Health Star Ratings may play in assisting reformulation, as well as reviewing international reformulation programs.

Sodium, saturated fat and added sugars will be prioritised for reformulation targets in the first instance. The determination of targets will include modelling to ensure that all proposed targets will have meaningful impacts on population consumption of targeted nutrients.

The working group will meet again in June and will continue to progress activities in the interim.