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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.
To deliver this work, the Heart Foundation is working together with the Commonwealth Scientific Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO), with whom they share a retail food composition database - FoodTrackTM.
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).
For each of the identified areas of enquiry, the Heart Foundation has undertake an assessment for the periods 27 June 2014 to 26 June 2015 and 27 June 2015 to 26 June 2016. The Heart Foundation has also prepared a report on monitoring activities over the first two years of implementation (June 2014 to June 2016).
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 shelves 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.
The Heart Foundation has finalised the following reports:Report on the monitoring of the implementation of the Health Star Rating system – Year 1 (June 2014 to June 2015)
Word version: Report on the monitoring of the implementation of the Health Star Rating system - Year 1, which covers the period June 2014 to June 2015 (Word 8.3MB).
PDF version: Report on the monitoring of the implementation of the Health Star Rating system - Year 1, which covers the period June 2014 to June 2015 (PDF 2.8MB).
Word version: Progress report on monitoring the implementation of the Health Star Rating system: Area of Enquiry 2 (Consumer use and understanding), for the period April 2015 to February 2016 (Word 1.1MB)
PDF version: Progress report on monitoring the implementation of the Health Star Rating system: Area of Enquiry 2 (Consumer use and understanding), for the period April 2015 to February 2016 (PDF 1.5MB)
The monitoring report for the first two years of implementation has formed a major part of the review of the progress of implementation of the HSR system after two years. The two year progress review report, including the monitoring activities undertaken by the Heart Foundation, was endorsed by the Forum in April 2017. Further information on the review process can be accessed from the Reviews of the Health Star Rating system web page.
Market research company Pollinate was 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, The Heart Foundation continues to monitor against this Area of Enquiry.
Further work undertaken by Pollinate on evaluating the HSR system social marketing campaign is available on the HSR Research web page.