Today food and health ministers from the federal, state and territory governments gave their final sign-off on the Health Star Rating Scheme.
Earlier this year, the future of the scheme looked shaky when a website providing critical information for companies wanting to put the ratings on their products was pulled within hours of its launch.
The scheme has been developed by government, industry, public health groups and consumer groups including CHOICE.
It will help consumers make at-a-glance decisions when shopping for food.
The scheme is voluntary, so companies can choose whether or not to use the star rating on their products.
However, CHOICE is calling on food manufacturers to start rolling out the ratings to help consumers make healthier choices.
“We know that many shoppers are confused and frustrated by the current state of food labelling, in which the complex, numerical information on the back of packs is rendered even more confusing on those products which carry the food industry’s voluntary Daily Intake Guide percentages,” says CHOICE CEO Alan Kirkland.
“Now that ministers have given the final sign-off to the Health Star Rating Scheme, responsibility shifts to food manufacturers to start rolling out the star ratings on their product ranges. There is a great PR opportunity waiting for the early adopters, as we’ve seen with Monster Health Food Co which rolled out the first star rating in April.
“CHOICE is today calling on food companies to ditch the dodgy Daily Intake Guide and embrace the Health Star Rating to help consumers make informed decisions about what they eat.”