Food Ministers’ Meeting communiqué – 3 May 2024

Communiqué of outcomes from the Food Ministers’ Meeting held on 3 May 2024.


The Food Ministers’ Meeting met on 3 May 2024 via video conference to consider food regulation and policy matters. 

The chair is the Hon Ged Kearney MP. The Food Ministers’ Meeting members are the Australian and New Zealand ministers responsible for food regulation.

Observers: Food Standards Australia New Zealand

Key outcomes

The key outcomes were about: 

  • The Food Regulation Agreement
  • Regulatory considerations for cell-based human milk products
  • Monitoring the uptake of the Health Star Rating system
  • Consumer Insights Tracker results.

Food Regulation Agreement

Today ministers agreed to concepts and recommendations for progressing the review of the Food Regulation Agreement. The Food Regulation Agreement is an inter‑governmental agreement between all Australian governments committing to a national system of food regulation.

The next stage will be to seek authority from the Prime Minister to negotiate and draft a new agreement. 

This project is one of the activities to maintain a strong, robust and agile food regulation system.

Regulatory considerations for cell-based human milk products

Today ministers received an issues paper which considers regulatory framework aspects of cell-based human milk.

‘Cell-based human milk products’ refers to novel food products that aim to replicate human breastmilk or breastmilk components manufactured through cell culture or precision fermentation technology. This technology is similar to that used to produce other cell-based foods, such as cultured meat.

Cell-based human milk products will serve the same population as infant formula products. Ministers considered it appropriate that both products are subject to the same regulatory principles.

Ministers agreed the Food Regulation Standing Committee will progress work to amend policy guidance to ensure regulation of cell-based human milk products is consistent with ‘traditional’ infant formula products.

The issues paper will be published on the Food Regulation website in due course. 

Consumer Insights Tracker results

FSANZ presented a report to ministers with the results of their inaugural annual consumer survey. The report presented key findings on consumers views about food safety and food issues. The survey found that consumers have confidence in the safety of the food supply in Australia and New Zealand. It also provided insight on how consumers use information on food labels.

The full report is now available on the FSANZ website.

Health Star Rating: Monitoring against first uptake target

Following an independent review of the HSR system in 2019, Food Ministers set the following uptake targets for the system:

  • Interim target 1: 50% of intended products apply an HSR by 14 November 2023
  • Interim target 2: 60% of intended products apply an HSR by 14 November 2024
  • Final target: 70% of intended products apply an HSR by 14 November 2025.

Ministers agreed that if the final target is not met by industry, they will consider mandating the system. 

Following the uptake target date for interim target 1, analysis shows the HSR is displayed on an estimated:

  • 32% of intended products in Australia; and
  • 30% of intended products in New Zealand.

Today ministers considered these results. Ministers expressed their disappointment at the results, noting that uptake is significantly off-track to reach the final target by the end of 2025.

Ministers re-iterated the need to consider mandating the system and will discuss this further at the July meeting. Officials will bring to the July meeting some preparatory work on implementation options. 

The report will be published on the Health Star Rating website.

Contact with any queries on the report.

Next meeting

The food ministers will meet again in July 2024. Until then, find out more about food regulation activities.


If you have any queries, please contact the Food Regulation Secretariat.

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