The Health Star Rating scheme was endorsed by the combined Federal and State Ministerial Forum in June. The scheme rates packaged processed foods from 0.5 to 5 stars based on nutritional value.
The voluntary scheme is now available for manufacturers to implement and it is likely that some dairy companies and some private label dairy products will take it up.
The dairy industry advocated strongly for a labelling scheme that will treat dairy foods appropriately and, in particular, to make sure core dairy foods under Australian Dietary Guidelines (milk, cheese and yogurt) receive an appropriate star rating compared to ‘discretionary’ foods.
There are still some anomalies, with cheeses and yogurts rating too low, and the dairy industry is currently seeking a review of the star rating. There is a formal process to review certain products where there is inconsistency with the Dietary Guidelines.
The preliminary product ratings can be found at: www.foodswitchstars.com.au