Terms of Reference

Page last updated: 09 May 2016

The Healthy Food Partnership (the Partnership) will provide a mechanism for collective, voluntary action between Government, the public health sector and the food industry, to improve the dietary habits of Australians by making healthier food choices easier and more accessible, and raising awareness of appropriate food choices and portion sizes.

The Partnership forms part of a broader Australian Government Nutrition Framework, and complements other programmes currently underway such as the Health Star Rating system (interpretative front of pack food labelling) and the Eat for Health programme.

The Partnership will work with the food industry and public health organisations to create action plans and set targets for reducing consumption of risk-associated nutrients; ensuring appropriate energy and nutrient intake; and increasing consumption of foods in accordance with the Australian Dietary Guidelines, for example whole foods such as fruits, vegetables, whole grains and core dairy foods. This work will be complemented by activities that support Australians to make healthier diet choices.

Scope

Initiatives developed under the Partnership will be implemented on a voluntary basis, with members responsible for the promotion of the action plans and targets within their sectors. The Partnership will take action in the following areas:
  • food reformulation to reduce agreed risk-associated nutrients and increase agreed beneficial nutrients;
  • Determine the objective of serve sizes, and develop standards for consumption consistent with the Australian Dietary Guidelines and Australian Guide to Healthy Eating (where relevant);
  • promoting appropriate portion sizes; and
  • improving consumers’ knowledge and awareness of healthier food choices, including through developing and disseminating tools and resources to consumers and health professionals.
This will be achieved by:
  • establishing priorities for food reformulation which may help consumers achieve dietary patterns that are consistent with the Australian Dietary Guidelines and protect and promote good health (such as reducing saturated fat, sugars and sodium content of processed foods, and increasing fruit, vegetables, fibre/wholegrain content of processed foods);
  • assisting consumers to make healthier diet choices through increasing the availability of healthy food options across the food service industry (e.g. at supermarkets or Quick Service Restaurants), using serve sizes on food labels that are consistent with those set out in the Australian Dietary Guidelines and Australian Guide to Healthy Eating (where relevant), and promoting appropriate portion sizes;
  • empowering and motivating Australians to make informed and responsible food decisions for themselves and their families by developing and disseminating (including via health professionals) information and tools that support consumers to achieve a diet consistent with the Australian Dietary Guidelines, including increasing consumption of whole foods such as fruits, vegetables, whole grains and core dairy; and
  • monitoring the effectiveness of the Partnership through consideration of changes in the food supply and food label information, and food and nutrient consumption patterns across the population, and within key population groups.

Governance

The Healthy Food Partnership Executive Committee will be chaired by the Australian Government, with membership comprising:
  • Commonwealth Minister responsible for food policy (Chair) (or their delegate)
  • Australian Food and Grocery Council
  • National Heart Foundation of Australia
  • Woolworths
  • Coles
  • Metcash (Independent Grocers)
  • Public Health Association of Australia
  • Quick Service Restaurant Forum
  • Food Standards Australia New Zealand
  • Dietitians Association of Australia
  • Ausveg
  • Meat and Livestock Australia
  • Dairy Australia
Any information provided to or discussed by Partnership participants will remain confidential unless an agreement is made by the Executive Committee with the provider of that information. Participants agree to contribute privately and consult with their relevant sectors accordingly.

Working Groups comprised of relevant stakeholders may be formed to take action according to specific food category or sector priorities. The Executive Committee will meet three times per year, with Working Groups to meet as needed.

The Secretariat will be located within the Australian Government Department of Health.

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