Health Star Ratings in food labelling: monitoring implementation

The Health Star Rating system is being implemented over 5 years with regular monitoring and reviews of progress. Find out about the reviews and how the system is being monitored.

Health Star Rating implementation reviews

The Health Star Rating (HSR) system is being implemented voluntarily over 5 years, from June 2014 with a:

Areas being monitored

Three areas are being monitored:

  • label implementation and consistency with the HSR system style guide
  • consumer awareness and ability to use the HSR system correctly
  • nutrient status of products carrying an HSR system label.

Who's involved?

The trans-Tasman HSR Advisory Committee (HSRAC) oversees monitoring of the HSR system.

Collection and analysis of data are coordinated by:

  • MPI in New Zealand
  • the National Heart Foundation in Australia.

2-year review

The 2-year trans-Tasman review looks at:

  • outcomes of monitoring the HSR system in Australia, including the 3 areas above
  • outcomes of monitoring the HSR system in New Zealand, including the 3 areas above
  • updates on the social marketing campaigns in Australia and New Zealand, including campaign evaluations
  • summaries of:
    • anomaly and dispute submissions considered by the trans-Tasman Health Star Rating Advisory Committee (HSRAC)
    • stakeholder engagement activities
    • requests for information from stakeholders
    • media commentary
    • issues that have been raised for inclusion in the formal review at 5 years
  • changes to governance arrangements
  • proposed activities to continue support for HSR implementation.

Related NZ reports

5-year formal review

The 5-year review will look at:

  • how well the objectives of the HSR system have been met
  • options to improve and continue implementation of the system.

The 5-year review is more comprehensive than the 2-year review. In addition to the areas covered in the 2-year review, it will review the HSR Calculator and any issues that have been raised with the HSR system over the 5-year period.

A Technical Advisory Group has been set up to:

  • analyse the performance of the HSR Calculator
  • respond to technical issues and related matters referred to them by HSRAC. These are issues that have been raised with HSRAC and at stakeholder workshops.

The 5-year review of the HSR system is well underway. An independent consulting company ‘mpconsulting’ is conducting this review. The final review report is expected to go to ministers in November 2019.

Consultation for the 5-year review

Mpconsulting prepared a 'navigation paper' outlining key issues arising in the 5-year review. The paper also looks at future consultation opportunities. 

Upcoming consultations

Discussion papers are expected to be released mid-2018 for public consultation.

Review of form of the food ('as prepared') rules

HSRAC is reviewing the form of the food ('as prepared') rules in The guide for industry to the HSR Calculator.

These rules allow the HSR for certain products (such as powdered soups and drink flavourings) to be calculated when prepared according to packet instructions. However, if the products aren't prepared according to instructions, the HSR may be inaccurate and misleading.

Public consultation on this issue has involved:

  • inviting public submissions between May 2017 and June 2017
  • stakeholder workshops in Australia and New Zealand in September and October 2017 to discuss an initial options paper
  • further stakeholder workshops in Australia during April 2018 to get extra feedback on 2 possible options to resolve issues. New Zealand stakeholders were able to email their comments on the options.

It is anticipated that government ministers will consider a proposed solution to the ‘as prepared’ issues at a forum in December 2018.

Any changes to HSR guidance and documentation will likely be implemented in line with recommendations arising from the 5-year review. This is to minimise costs to industry and consumer confusion.

Research reports

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