Citrus Australia opposes changes to Health Star Rating system
Citrus Australia is lobbying the Federal Government to reject proposed changes to the Health Star Rating (HSR) system, which could see fresh 100% Australian juice rated the same as diet cola.
Under the proposed guideline revisions – to be considered at the Australia and New Zealand Ministerial Forum on Food Regulation on 22 May 2020 – the HSR for fresh juice with no added sugar will fall from 5 stars to as low as 2 ½ stars.
Citrus Australia formed a market development project for the juice sector in 2019, as part of its juice committee’s objective to drive returns to over $420/tonne for growers. Citrus Australia formed the juice committee, comprising growers and other industry stakeholders, to harness experience and knowledge needed to develop export markets and improve juice quality. Growers at the 2019 Juice Forum, attended by 120 people in Griffith on June 12, led a discussion, facilitated by Citrus Australia CEO Nathan Hancock, on what the Juice Committee should prioritise.
The installation of an AsepTec linear filler in 2018 has allowed the family-owned Nippy’s at Moorook, South Australia, to produce long-life juices that closely mirror fresh juice in both flavour and appearance.
In a game-changing decision, these varieties – orange, cloudy apple, blood orange and pink grapefruit – now have a potential shelf-life of at least a year and can be exported and placed in the chilled section alongside fresh juices.
Now in its 52nd year of manufacturing, Nippy’s has been processing long-life juice and flavoured milk since the mid-1980s. The company’s approach saw it recognised with the Citrus Value Chain Innovators Award, which was presented at the Citrus Australia Market Outlook Forum in March, 2020.