Food and Health Dialogue to encourage food supply chain collaboration

Posted by Daniel Palmer on 30th October 2009

The Federal Government’s Food and Health Dialogue, which will provide a ‘framework for government, health groups and industry to work collaboratively across the food supply chain to improve dietary intakes’, was formally announced this week by the Parliamentary Secretary for Health, Mark Butler.

Chaired by Mr Butler, the Dialogue is part of a broader strategy to increase consumption of fruits, vegetables and whole grain foods; reduce the consumption of risk-associated nutrients, such as salt and saturated fat; and improve consumer awareness about healthy diet choices.

The Dialogue will focus on raising the nutritional profile of foods through reformulation, consumer education and portion standardisation.

Nominated members of the Dialogue group include representatives from the Australian Food and Grocery Council, the National Heart Foundation of Australia, Woolworths Limited, the Public Health Association of Australia and CSIRO.

“Over time, the Dialogue aims to engage the whole food supply chain from primary producers to the food service sector, including quick service restaurants,” Mr Butler advised in a statement. “The Dialogue will draw on health-related survey results, such as the COAG-funded Australian National Health Risk Survey Program under the National Partnership Agreement on Preventive Health, to help develop and measure its work.”

“Alongside other measures to improve Australian diets, the Dialogue provides an opportunity for on-going cooperation between industry, public health groups and government to help achieve this important goal within the preventative health strategy.”