About the APMAIF and the MAIF Agreement

The APMAIF is a non-statutory advisory panel established by the Australian Government in 1992 to monitor compliance with and advise the Government on the Marketing in Australia of Infant Formulas: Manufacturers and Importers Agreement (MAIF Agreement).

The MAIF Agreement is a voluntary, self-regulatory code of conduct between manufacturers and importers of infant formula in Australia. It aims to contribute to the provision of safe and adequate nutrition for infants, by the protection and promotion of breastfeeding and by ensuring the proper use of breast milk substitutes, when they are necessary, on the basis of adequate information and through appropriate marketing and distribution. A copy of the MAIF Agreement is available on the Department of Health and Ageing’s (the Department’s) APMAIF internet site and at Appendix A.

The MAIF Agreement is Australia’s primary means of implementing the World Health Organization’s International Code of Marketing of Breast-milk Substitutes (WHO Code). The MAIF Agreement implements those aspects of the WHO Code that are appropriate to Australia’s legal and economic environment. It applies to the marketing and promotion of formulas for infants up to 12 months of age, by those Australian manufacturers and importers of infant formula who are signatories to the MAIF Agreement.

In relation to the products, the MAIF Agreement applies to:
  • Infant formula i.e. formula that is suitable for babies from birth (eg. Starter, Stage 1or All Ages infant formulas)
  • Follow-on formula i.e. formula that is suitable for babies from six months.
The MAIF Agreement does not apply to:
  • Toddler milk drinks suitable from 12 months (sometimes called Growing Up milks)
  • Complementary foods (i.e. baby cereal and packaged baby foods)
  • Feeding bottles and teats
The APMAIF has no statutory or formal regulatory powers either to obtain information from industry participants or other parties or to enforce the MAIF Agreement. Instead the APMAIF relies upon the cooperation of the industry participants in the MAIF Agreement and other stakeholders to provide information. Changes to marketing practices that are requested by the APMAIF also depend on the voluntary commitment of industry participants.

There are no financial or legal sanctions associated with breaches of the MAIF Agreement. If the APMAIF determines that a breach of the MAIF Agreement has occurred, the Minister for Health (or Parliamentary Secretary) is informed and details of the breach are published in the APMAIF’s annual report. While this reporting process is not a financial or legal sanction, it provides for a level of public reporting which can receive global publicity and brand damage for the infant formula manufacturer involved. The APMAIF’s annual report is normally tabled in Parliament and copies will be made available to stakeholders. The reports are also made available from the APMAIF Website on the Department’s website.

Terms of Reference

The APMAIF’s terms of reference are to:
1. receive and investigate complaints regarding the marketing in Australia of infant formulas;
2. act as a liaison point for issues relating to the marketing in Australia of infant formulas;
3. develop guidelines on the interpretation and application of the MAIF Agreement; and
4. provide advice on the operation of the MAIF Agreement to the Australian Government Minister for Health and Ageing.


Panel Members

The APMAIF comprises five members including the Chair, a community and consumer representative, an industry representative, a member with legal expertise, and a public health and nutrition expert.

All the members of the APMAIF are part time. Remuneration arrangements are in accordance with Departmental policy and the relevant determinations of the Remuneration Tribunal. The Parliamentary Secretary for Health appoints the panel members.

APMAIF Chair

The APMAIF Chair leads the panel in the adjudication of complaints and manages conflicting views concerning the implementation of the MAIF Agreement and the role of the APMAIF. The Chair takes the lead role in the duties of the panel and liaises with the secretariat in progressing those duties.

In March 2008, Ms Venessa Tripp was appointed as the APMAIF Chair until February 2012. In consultation with the Department and Parliamentary Secretary, Ms Tripp was offered a further four year term to February 2012-2016, which she accepted.

Ms Tripp is currently the principal of her own executive coaching business, an associate with the Institute of Executive Coaching and has been providing one-on-one executive coaching services since 2001. She specialises in career management, leadership, communication, influencing, delegation, presentation, strategic planning, dealing with conflict, representation and dealing with stakeholders. She is also a member of the Australian Institute of Management and the University of Sydney Coaching and Mentoring Association. She has a Masters degree from the University of Sydney and an Honours degree from the University of Newcastle.

Member with Legal Expertise

The legal expert provides a legal perspective on APMAIF deliberations, including interpretations of the scope and particular clauses of the MAIF Agreement. He or she contributes to panel deliberations and decisions by demonstrating the following:
  • a good knowledge of the Competition and Consumer Act 2010;
  • a good knowledge of the legal implications of voluntary self-regulation agreements; and
  • knowledge of and an interest in infant nutrition.
Professor Bill Lane was appointed as the APMAIF member with legal expertise in January 2009, for a term of four years.

Professor Lane is the Clayton Utz Professor of Public Law at Queensland University of Technology Law School and is one of Australia’s leading administrative law experts. He has taught law at La Trobe University, the University of Sydney and the University of Queensland. He has published works in the fields of judicial review, Freedom of Information, and the application of public law remedies in the field of commercial government activity.

Professor Lane is a member of the Queensland Non State Schools Accreditation Board.

Community and Consumer Representative

The community and consumer representative advocates on behalf of parents and contributes to APMAIF deliberations and decisions by demonstrating the following:
  • an understanding of the issues faced by parents in feeding their babies and young children;
  • a balanced understanding of the reasons why some women may not breastfeed successfully or for other reasons may choose to bottle feed their babies and small children;
  • a balanced view of the issues related to breastfeeding and bottle feeding; and
  • an understanding of the importance of the self- regulatory model of infant formula marketing within Australia.
In January 2009, Ms Margaret Grove was appointed as the community and consumer representative, for a term of four years.

Ms Grove has been a breastfeeding counsellor with the Australian Breastfeeding Association since 1983 and held many national positions in that time. She was a director from 2002-2008 and was the organisation’s National President from 2006-2008. In addition to teaching mathematics at Bankstown TAFE, Ms Grove has authored a number of text books and educational resource books. Ms Grove is the mother of three children and has been very active in her local community for 25 years.

Public Health and Nutrition Expert

The public health and nutrition expert provides the panel with scientific and technical expertise in public health, nutrition, regulation around therapeutic goods and the food/drug interface. He or she contributes to APMAIF deliberations and decisions by demonstrating the following:
  • extensive experience in public health;
  • extensive knowledge of therapeutic goods, food standards and the interface between these; and
  • experience working on consumer issues.
In January 2009 Associate Professor Heather Yeatman was appointed for four years as the public health and nutrition expert, with particular expertise in regulation around therapeutic goods and the food/medicines interface.

Currently an Associate Professor with the School of Health Sciences at the University of Wollongong, Associate Professor Yeatman has taught public health nutrition at the post-graduate level since 1989 and Chairs the Australian Public Health Nutrition Academic Collaboration. She has extensive experience working for and with government on health promotion and nutrition policy issues and has held several positions on statutory government bodies relating to food standards, food safety, complementary medicines, agricultural chemicals, veterinary medicines and animal welfare. She is also a member of several professional societies and associations related to public health and nutrition.

Industry Representative

The industry representative is nominated by the Infant Nutrition Council (INC), an association of infant formula marketers and manufacturers representing industry. The industry representative is appointed by the Parliamentary Secretary for Health and Ageing. The representative liaises between APMAIF and INC member companies and plays an important role in maintaining industry awareness of the responsibilities of Signatories to the MAIF Agreement.

He or she contributes to APMAIF deliberations and decisions by representing the views of INC member companies and working to maintain a cooperative relationship between APMAIF and members to the MAIF Agreement.

Ms Jan Carey is the CEO of INC, and was appointed as the industry representative on the APMAIF in 2007. Ms Carey was reappointed for a further four year term to March 2011- March 2015.

Ms Carey has an extensive background in infant health, having previously been responsible for developing and maintaining the national not for profit organisation, SIDS and Kids’ research and educational programs which have successfully reduced infant mortality in Australia. Ms Carey was the Chair of SIDS and Kids Scientific Advisory Committee, a member of the Global Strategy Task Force for education and the SIDS and Kids’ representative on SIDS International.

Ms Carey is committed to best outcomes for infants, and is also a co-founder of the research organisation, the Australian and New Zealand Stillbirth Alliance.

Departmental Observer

A senior officer of the Australian Government Department of Health and Ageing attends all APMAIF meetings as an observer. The Departmental observer provides advice to APMAIF on matters of Government policy and advises the Minister for Health on matters of governance for the APMAIF. He or she does not participate in APMAIF decision making.

Companies Authorised under the MAIF Agreement

Participating manufacturers and importers of infant formula during 2011-12 were:
  • Abbott Australasia Pty Ltd
  • Bayer Australia Ltd
  • H J Heinz Company Australia Ltd
  • Nestlé Australia Ltd
  • Nutricia Australia Pty Ltd
  • Pfizer Australia Pty Ltd

The Infant Nutrition Council (INC)

The Infant Nutrition Council Ltd (INC) represents companies marketing and manufacturing infant formula in Australia and New Zealand. INC works in partnership with government, regulatory authorities, health care professionals and breastfeeding advocates to support the public health goals for the protection and promotion of breastfeeding and, when needed, infant formula as the only suitable alternative. All Signatories to the MAIF Agreement are members of the INC.