AFGC welcomes government funding to boost healthy food

The Australian Food and Grocery Council (AFGC) has applauded the Federal Government for its commitment to spending $900,000 over three years to make Australian food healthier.

In last week’s Budget, the Government committed new funding to the Food and Health Dialogue to develop a rationale for food reformulation, which includes reducing salt and fat and increasing fibre in Australian foods.

The Government has also agreed to conduct research and modelling to set food reformulation targets and identify food categories for reformulation, according to the Taking Preventative Action report released in response to the National Preventative Health Taskforce.

“A reduction in salt intake of 25 to 35 per cent could lead to a 20 per cent or greater reduction in risk of heart attacks and stroke,” said the report.

Kate Carnell, AFGC chief executive, said the industry was grateful for the support of Parliamentary Secretary for Health Mark Butler, who chairs the Dialogue, which has already set salt reduction targets for breads and ready-to-eat breakfast cereals.

“Many food and grocery manufacturing companies are making strong inroads in salt reduction. For example, Australian researchers recently found that more than 70 per cent of Australia’s ready-to-eat cereals were already below the salt target in this category,” she said.

The Dialogue recently agreed that Kellogg’s, Sanitarium, Cereal Partners Worldwide, Woolworths, Coles and Aldi will reduce ready-to-eat breakfast cereals exceeding 400 milligrams of sodium per 100 grams by 15 per cent over four years.

Bread manufacturers George Weston Foods, Goodman Fielder Baking, Allied Mills and Cripps Nubake, as well as Woolworths, Coles and Aldi have agreed to reduce sodium across bread products to 400 milligrams per 100 grams by the end of 2013.


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