Citrus Australia welcomes Minister Littleproud’s support for 5-Star rating for fresh juice
13 July 2020
Citrus Australia welcomes Federal Agriculture Minister David Littleproud’s support in retaining the 5-Star Health Star Rating for fresh juice with no added sugar.
Mr Littleproud informed Citrus Australia that the matter will be discussed at the Australian and New Zealand Ministerial Forum on Food Regulation meeting on Friday, July 17.
Under the current revised guidelines to the HSR system, the rating for fresh fruit and vegetable juice with no added sugar would fall from 5 Stars to as low as 2 ½ Stars, the same as diet soft drink.
Mr Littleproud has proposed two options that, if agreed to by the Forum members, comprising Ministers from each State and Territory, the Australian Local Government Association and the New Zealand Government, will see fruit and vegetable juice with no added sugar retain its current 5-Star rating.
Mr Littleproud said retaining the current 5-Star rating:
- Recognises the nutritional benefits of fruit juice within the non-dairy beverages category
- Ensures that fruit juice does not have a lower rating than diet carbonated beverages
- Better aligns with the Australian Dietary Guidelines for consumption of non-dairy beverages
- Addresses industry concerns, retains jobs in the juice producing sector and retains common sense in the HSR system
Mr Littleproud told Citrus Australia that while the HSR system has been designed to assist consumers, the impact on industry was not quantified through the review process and therefore the impact on fruit growers and farmers was not taken into account.
The fruit juice industry has demonstrated a strong commitment to the HSR system.
Australian juice processors have stated that the proposed changes to the HSR for fresh juice would have an immediate and detrimental effect on sales.
Fruit juice currently contributes $736m to the Australian economy and citrus growers and juice factories contribute significantly to rural economies throughout Australia.
Citrus Australia CEO Nathan Hancock welcomed the Minister’s support.
“Importantly, retaining the 5-Star rating ensures consistency with the Australian Dietary Guidelines (ADG), which places fresh juice in the ‘eat more of’ category,” Mr Hancock said.
“There are allowances in the ADG for the substitution of fruit juice for a whole piece of fruit in the diet.
“Vitamin C contributes to immune defence, particularly important in winter, and one 125 mL glass of fresh orange juice contains half the recommended daily intake of Vitamin C.”
Mr Hancock thanked Minister Littleproud for his support, and urged other members of the Food Regulation Forum to support the retention of the 5-Star rating for fresh juice with no added sugar when they meet on Friday.
For further information, contact Stephen Cooke, Industry Engagement Manager, Citrus Australia, on 0427 124 437 or firstname.lastname@example.org