In a statement last week, CHOICE said the junk food giants had been ‘slow to swallow Health Stars’.
However, AI Group has defended the sector’s position labelling the statements as ‘not accurate’ and ‘disingenuous’.
AI Group confirmed agreement has been reached with the Federal Government’s Health Star Rating Committee – which includes a representative from Choice – that the HSR does apply to the confectionery industry, although manufacturers did not need to include stars on front-of-pack.
Head of the Confectionery Sector of the Australian Industry Group, Tim Piper said CHOICE is well aware of this understanding and to criticise the confectionery industry is totally inappropriate.
“A review of the System will be conducted five years after its introduction, also agreed by the HSR Committee,” Piper said.
He confirmed the confectionery industry considers its products as treats and encourages consumption in moderation as part of its Be treatwise consumer program that is used by all major Australian confectionery companies.
“Be treatwise has a high recognition and consumer understanding which complements the HSR and helps develop better dietary habits through an understanding of treats,” Piper said.