Major Australian food companies sign up to voluntary wholegrain claims code

Posted by AFN Staff Writers on 11th November 2013

Three of Australia’s largest core grain food manufacturers – Goodman Fielder, Sanitarium and Bakers Delight – are among the first registered users of a voluntary industry Code of Practice for Whole Grain Ingredient Content Claims.

Australian Food News reported in July 2013 that industry body the Grains and Legumes Nutrition Council (GLNC) had developed Code to “bring greater clarity for consumers about the content of foods labelled as whole grain”.

For the first time, the Code sets a standard for labelling of whole grain foods, which can vary widely in whole grain content. Content claim levels for the Code are based on a contribution to 48 gram whole grain Daily Target Intake (DTI) and fit with the Australian Dietary Guidelines.

All three manufacturers – Goodman Fielder, Sanitarium and Bakers Delight – have chosen to use the DTI statement.

Goodman Fielder and Bakers Delight will use both the DTI statement and content claims. Goodman Fielder will use the claims on pack, initially on Helga’s bread products, and Bakers’ Delight will use it on the product pages of their website to provide customers additional information about their whole grain bread. Sanitarium will use the DTI statement across its Weet-Bix range from 2014.

“Goodman Fielder’s sign-up to the Code, initially with Helga’s Continental Bakehouse range, will give consumers greater clarity about the whole grain content of the bread they’re buying,” said Kinda Grange, Goodman Fielder Marketing Director for Baking.

“We wholeheartedly endorse the aims of the voluntary Code, developed by the Grains & Legumes Nutrition Council. The Code will help consumers to become more discerning and supports a greater propensity among main grocery buyers to actively seek out whole grain products,” Ms Grange said.

The Helga’s range is available from major and independent supermarkets and convenience stores across Australia.

“The whole grain ingredient content claims are an important communication tool that now appears on pack for Helga’s, helping consumers who are looking for healthier bread choices,” Ms Grange said.

Helga’s products will also be listed with the DTI statement, which provides extra information on how much one serve contributes to the 48 gram DTI.  Goodman Fielder said the whole grain Daily Target Intake statement will “help consumers understand how the claim fits with the 48 gram daily target”.

Sign-ups will benefit public health, brands and consumers, GLNC

GLNC said that the sign-ups were “a big win for public health, for brands and for consumers”.

“GLNC congratulates Goodman Fielder, Sanitarium and Bakers Delight on their adoption of industry best practice by becoming the first three core grain food registered users of the Code,” said Georgie Aley, GLNC Managing Director. “Wide adoption of the Code is essential to helping Australians compare products and choose foods that will help them meet the whole grain DTI,” she said.

“For consumers, they will begin to see consistent messages for the whole grain ingredient content of foods on food packaging and advertising,” Ms Aley said. “This will bring greater understanding about the value of enjoying grain foods three to four times a day, and legumes two to three times a week,” she said.

GLNC said that Goodman Fielder’s registration to use the Code on pack would “pave the way for other manufacturers”, given that the Company is one of Australia’s biggest manufacturers of grain foods.

Background to the Code

The whole grain ingredient content claim within the Code of Practice is based on the Australian Dietary Guidelines and GLNC whole grain Daily Target Intake of 48 grams per day, established in 2006 and well adopted across the food industry.

Under the code, foods containing less than 8 grams of whole grain will not be permitted to make a whole grain content claim; foods containing 8 grams or more of whole grain can make the claim “contains whole grain”; foods containing 16 grams or more of whole grain can make the claim “high in whole grain”; and foods containing 24 grams of whole grain or more can make the claim “very high in whole grain”.

The GLNC said the Australian content claim levels were also in line with international labelling and characterisation of whole grain foods, including the recently approved characterisation by the AACC International of 8 grams of whole grain per 30 grams of product.

In addition, the new Code enables the option for manufacturers to apply for additional product certification by GLNC for grain and legume foods based on qualifying nutrient criteria.

Major manufacturers have signed up to new Wholegrain Content Code