Health claims decision good for consumers, export manufacturers
The Government’s decision to broaden the way nutrition content and health claims are made on food products will provide a big boost for consumers and export manufacturers, says Food and Grocery Council CEO Katherine Rich.
The decision was announced today by Food Safety Minister Nikki Kaye. See details on the Beehive website here.
“It’s taken more than a decade of hard work by New Zealand officials to see this project come to fruition, but the outcome is good news all round,” Mrs Rich says.
“Not only will it help ensure consumers have more information which is evidence-based, it also supports manufacturers in making claims on innovative products for important export markets.”
Food businesses will have three years to meet the standard. During this time, Food Standards Australia New Zealand (FSANZ) will work with industry, public health, and consumers on a range of issues, including refining the nutrient-profiling scoring criteria and developing and implementing a process to maintain the scientific currency of pre-approved food-health relationships.
“The inclusion of self-substantiation is a key achievement for Minister Kaye and her predecessor, Hon Kate Wilkinson, and the Ministry for Primary Industries, and was strongly supported by FGC members,” says Mrs Rich.
“We are confident the standard will promote innovation and help businesses making proprietary claims, not just for the New Zealand and Australian markets but also for other expanding export markets, particularly in Asia.
“The inclusion of pre-approved food-health relationships in the standard has provided a great starting point, especially for small-to-medium-size businesses that might develop their individual claims within the parameters of the food-health relationship.
“FGC also believes that the provision of a three-year transition period gives industry the opportunity to adjust food labels over time to come into compliance.
“Though the nutrient-profiling scoring criteria is a blunt instrument and some refining over the transition period will be pursued, overall this is an excellent step forward, and FGC looks forward to working with FSANZ and the Government on it.”