Background

The Australia and New Zealand Ministerial Forum on Food Regulation (formerly the Legislative and Governance Forum on Food Regulation) (the Forum) has agreed to progress with the implementation of a voluntary interpretive and informative Front of Pack Labelling (FoPL) scheme (known as the Health Star Rating (HSR) System), as a collaborative endeavour between industry, government, consumer and public health stakeholders.

The HSR Advisory Committee (Advisory Committee) brings together stakeholders from industry, government, consumer and public health stakeholders in a spirit of ongoing collaboration and good faith.

Role and Purpose

The role of the Advisory Committee is to oversee the voluntary implementation of the HSR System, including in particular the social marketing campaign and the monitoring and evaluation component of the System. The Advisory Committee will be responsible for providing advice to the Food Regulation Standing Committee (FRSC) about these elements. The FRSC will in turn report to the Forum.

The Advisory Committee will also be responsible for providing regular reports to the FRSC on:

  • timing, scope and processes for external reviews and on implementing recommendations arising from reviews;
  • budget needs and allocation of resources;
  • appointments to any sub-committees of the Advisory Committee; and
  • other matters related to the operation of the HSR System, including its administration1.
The contents of those reports and timing of reporting arrangements are to be agreed between the Advisory Committee and the FRSC.
Members should participate in the overview and advice about the HSR System in good faith, and with open exchange of information and dialogue to support the efficacy of the HSR System.

The Advisory Committee Members are expected to:
  • act as a conduit for information to their stakeholders subject to any confidentiality requirements; and/or
  • provide input and feedback that reflects the interests of their stakeholders.
In addition, Members may be asked to provide assistance on a range of activities in support of this initiative.

Sub-committees

The Advisory Committee may establish sub-committees, including the Social Marketing Advisory Group (SMAG), to assist it in overseeing the voluntary implementation of the HSR System. Those sub-committees will report directly to the Advisory Committee and appointments to any sub-committees, including the period of appointment, will be made by the Advisory Committee by consensus. The Advisory Committee will determine the Terms of Reference for any sub committee that it establishes.

In the event that a member of a sub-committee resigns, the Chair of the sub committee will immediately advise the Chair of the Advisory Committee. The Chair of the Advisory Committee will approach relevant industry or consumer/public health groups for nominations or, in the case of a government member, the Chair of the FRSC seeking nominations from jurisdictions.

Members to sub-committees are appointed as representatives of their appointed organisation.

The SMAG will consist of members with specific expertise in communications and social marketing from relevant industry and consumer/public health groups, as well as jurisdictions. The SMAG will be chaired by a representative of the Commonwealth Government Department of Health2.

The Advisory Committee will work with the code owners, the Code Administration Committee (CAC) and the SMAG to agree on the contents and timing of reporting arrangements to the FRSC.

The Advisory Committee may request any information it needs from the code owners, CAC and SMAG to ensure good visibility over the HSR System to enable it to fulfill its advice functions to the FRSC.

Confidentiality

All information relating to or prepared by/for the Advisory Committee is to be treated as confidential, unless otherwise agreed by the Advisory Committee, and only distributed on a strict need-to-know basis.

All agenda papers and reports shall be treated as confidential documents with circulation limited to the Advisory Committee and its sub-committees unless otherwise directed by the Advisory Committee.

Membership

The Advisory Committee will consist of ten (10) members including the Chair, with equal representation from government (State and Federal and New Zealand), industry and community (consumer and public health). Members are appointed by the Forum as representatives of their appointed organisation. At least one member must be a representative of the Australian Food and Grocery Council.

The Chair will be a senior government official appointed by the Forum from among the three government Advisory Committee representatives and is a voting member.

The Advisory Committee is to make all decisions on a consensus basis. Where consensus cannot be reached on a decision which is not of a technical nature that may conflict with the operation of the Australia New Zealand Food Standards Code, the Chair of the Advisory Committee is to refer issues to the Chair of FRSC who will ensure that those issues are tabled for consideration by the Forum.

The calling and holding of meetings of the Advisory Committee meetings will be determined by the Chair on an as-needed basis, but at least bi-annually in the early years of the HSR System and annually in later years. Members may request that a meeting be called by contacting the Chair of the Advisory Committee.

In the event that Members are unable to attend a meeting, he/she can nominate a proxy to attend, to be approved by the Chair of the Advisory Committee.

In the event that a member resigns, the Chair of the Advisory Committee will approach the relevant industry or consumer/public health group, in writing, for nominations. If the relevant industry or consumer/public health group is unable to provide a nominee, then the Chair of the Advisory Committee will approach, in writing, a similar group or group seeking nominations.

Any nominations from industry or consumer/public health groups (and the recommendations of the Advisory Committee) will be referred to the Forum, via FRSC, for decision and appointment. This can be considered by the Forum either in session or out-of-session.

In the event that a government member resigns, the Chair of the Advisory Committee will write to the Chair of FRSC seeking nominations from jurisdictions. FRSC will decide upon the preferred nominee, either in or out-of-session, and then seek the Forum’s agreement to the appointment. This can be considered by the Forum either in session or out-of-session.

Tenure

Advisory Committee Members will have tenure of five years from the date of appointment unless that would extend the appointment beyond 26 June 2019. If appointing a member for five years would extend the appointment beyond 26 June 2019, the period of the appointment will be from the date of appointment to 26 June 2019. The Advisory Committee will continue to operate for the duration of the voluntary implementation period of the HSR System (five years from 27 June 2014).

1 where those matters extend to technical issues, the Advisory Committee must ensure that its decisions do not conflict with the operation of the Australia New Zealand Food Standards Code. Where such conflict arises, the matter must be referred to FRSC for advice and input into the decision. Where an issue cannot be resolved by consensus between the Advisory Committee and FRSC, FRSC will table the matter for the Forum's consideration and decision.

2 To ensure that more robust stakeholder communication between jurisdictions occurs, membership of the SMAG should be extended to interested jurisdictions that do not have representation on either the Advisory Committee of the SMAG or are only represented on the Advisory Committee. This will allow jurisdictions to have input into the development, implementation and evaluation of the HSR social marketing campaign. If the inclusion of interested jurisdictions skews the membership of the SMAG, and industry and consumer/public health representative have concerns with the balance, the Advisory Committee may seek greater representation from both industry and consumer/public health groups. The Terms of Reference for the SMAG will need to reflect an expanded membership.