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On 27 June 2014, the Australia and New Zealand Ministerial Forum on Food Regulation (Forum) agreed that the Health Star Rating (HSR) system should be implemented voluntarily over five years with a review of the progress of implementation after two years. Subsequent to this decision, on 20 November 2015, members of the Forum agreed that a formal review of the system should also be carried out after five years of implementation.

The monitoring of the HSR system is overseen by the HSR Advisory Committee (HSRAC). The HSRAC has agreed that the areas of enquiry for the purposes of monitoring the HSR system are:

  • label implementation and consistency with the HSR system Style Guide;
  • consumer awareness and ability to use the HSR system correctly; and
  • nutrient status of products carrying a HSR system label.

The National Heart Foundation of Australia (Heart Foundation) has been engaged to undertake data collection and analysis in Australia, for the three key areas of enquiry. The New Zealand Ministry for Primary Industries (MPI) has responsibility for the collection and analysis of comparable data in New Zealand.

The Heart Foundation has developed a framework that will guide monitoring and reporting against the three areas of enquiry (in both Australia and New Zealand).

Heart Foundation Framework

For each of the identified areas of enquiry, the Heart Foundation will undertake an assessment for the periods 27 June 2014 to 26 June 2015 and 27 June 2015 and 26 June 2016.

Market research company Pollinate, was also engaged to support the work being undertaken to assess consumer awareness and ability to use the system correctly. Pollinate undertook a baseline assessment against this area of enquiry early in 2015 (prior to the Heart Foundation being engaged) and a tracking survey in March 2016. The outcomes of Pollinate’s baseline assessment can be viewed at the link below (the tracking survey will be published once finalised).

Word version: Health Star Rating System: Consumer use and understanding (Word 863KB)
PDF version: Health Star Rating System: Consumer use and understanding (PDF 1.3MB)

In addition to reporting against the agreed areas of enquiry, the Heart Foundation is also undertaking an audit of products against the HSR Calculator, and in store assessments of product on shelf.

The audit of products against the HSR Calculator is not a compliance activity but rather is being undertaken as a means of supporting food manufacturers and encouraging consumer confidence in the application of the system.

The in store assessment of the number of products on shelf will provide the ability to track the uptake of the system at regular intervals and to compare this to the uptake of other labelling systems, both domestically and internationally.

To date the Heart Foundation has finalised the following reports:

A monitoring report for the first two years of implementation (June 2014 to June 2016) will form a major part of the review of the progress of implementation of the HSR system after two years. It is envisaged that the two year review of progress report will be provided to the Forum in mid-2017. Further information on the review process is on the Reviews page.