Australian Department of Health - Food and Health Dialogue
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from left, images of: industry representatives, factory production, woman reading product labels, family eating dinner, then text Food and Health Dialogue.

Cheese

Leading manufacturers Fonterra Australia, Murray Goulburn, Warnambool Cheese and Butter, Lion and Mondelēz International (formerly Kraft Foods Australia), along with major retailers Woolworths, Coles and ALDI are working collaboratively with the Australian Government and public health groups to provide healthier choices for consumers.

The companies involved, which represent a minimum of 80 per cent of the market share for cheddar and cheddar style variety cheeses, mozzarella cheese and chilled processed cheese manufacturing1, have committed to action in the areas of product reformulation.
Participating companies recognise that sodium is widely distributed across the food supply and are committed to making a difference to sodium intakes. Some companies have been reducing the sodium content of their products in recent years through reformulation and now further and wider commitments are being made to build on these efforts.

Participating companies have committed to reducing the amount of sodium in cheddar and cheddar style variety cheeses, mozzarella cheese and chilled processed cheese contributing to the Australian diet over the next four years with the timeframe for action being March 2013 to March 2017.

Category Definition


Definition, segments, and product examples of cheese are as follows:

SegmentDefinition
Cheddar and cheddar style variety cheese productsThis category segment is to include
mild, matured, tasty, extra tasty, and vintage cheese products.
Mozzarella Cheese ProductsThis category segment is to include low moisture
mozzarella cheese (LMMC) products only. Note: Fresh mozzarella and pizza cheese blends are not included under this segment.
Chilled Processed CheeseThis category sub-segment is to include all processed cheese products
which are required to be refrigerated (i.e. not able to be stored at ambient
temperatures).

Reformulation targets

Companies have agreed to the following sodium reduction targets for each segment:


Cheddar and Cheddar Style variety cheese products:Maximum sodium target of 710mg/100g

Mozzarella Cheese Products: Maximum sodium target of 550mg/100g

Chilled Processed Cheese Products: Maximum sodium target of 1270mg/100mg OR a 10-15% reduction in sodium towards the maximum target for chilled processed cheese products with sodium levels significantly above the agreed maximum target of 1270mg/100g.

The products targeted and the amount of sodium reduction per year will be determined by the individual companies involved.

Monitoring


Companies will report back to the Food and Health Dialogue on progress against the above commitments six monthly for the first year and annually thereafter.

As part of the progress reports, companies will provide the Department with total national sales data and product composition to enable on-going monitoring of progress towards the commitments and to allow the Department to report on the actual amount (tonnes) of salt removed from the Australian food supply each year.

Monitoring of achievements against the agreed sodium reformulation targets will also be undertaken by the National Heart Foundation. This will include the collection of product nutrient information and sales data.

1 Aztec Australia Scan Data