Australia's Health Star Rating policy process: Lessons for global policy-making in front-of-pack nutrition labelling Academic Article uri icon


  • This study explored factors that shaped the development of Australia's Health Star Rating system for front-of-pack labelling (FoPL) on packaged foods and whether insights could be drawn from this experience to inform the development of global FoPL standards.Ten individual semi-structured interviews were conducted with public health or consumer advocates, academics in the field of nutrition labelling and policy, a food industry employee, and Australian public servants. Thematic analysis was undertaken, guided by Kingdon's Multiple Streams Framework, to identify factors which shaped Australian and international FoPL policy processes.Senior Australian bureaucrats played the policy entrepreneur role to facilitate the development of the Health Star Rating system. The public health and consumer advocacy groups formed an alliance to counter-balance the influence of the food industry in the Health Star Rating development process. Public health and consumer groups have less influence at Codex Alimentarius, where policy-making is constrained by political alliances and consensus voting structures.Strong leadership, policy entrepreneurship and a coherent alliance between public health and consumer groups enabled the development of a FoPL system in Australia and could contribute to advancing FoPL standards at the international level.

publication date

  • 2018