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Foodstuffs adopting star rating system

Foodstuffs is adopting the health star rating system for its Pams and Budget brand foods, a move Consumer NZ hopes will encourage other companies to follow suit.

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Foodstuffs Own Brands general manager Dave McAteer said it will start putting the health stars ratings on products from early 2015, as contracts are renewed and packaging updated.

The star ratings range from ½ a star to 5 stars and are designed to give consumers “at-a-glance” information about the nutritional value of packaged food.

Food Safety Minister Nikki Kaye said the support of one of the country’s biggest food retailers was a good sign of industry confidence in the food labelling system.

“The company has said that its aim is for 1400 of its Pams product lines and 315 of its Budget-branded lines to eventually be eligible to display the Health Star Rating,” Ms Kaye said.

“Having a voluntary commitment by a retailer of this scale is a very good sign for the future of the health star rating system, and it is my hope that this move by Foodstuffs will encourage other food retailers to follow suit.”

If manufacturers don’t take up the health star rating system, Consumer NZ believes the Government should introduce mandatory requirements for front-of-pack labelling.

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