The top Australian food industry body has formed an alliance of the country’s cereal makers with an eye on health and nutrition regulations for the growing industry.
First formed in 2011, the Australian Breakfast Cereal Manufacturers Forum (ABCMF) brings together Australia’s leading breakfast cereal manufacturers including Carman’s Fine Foods, Freedom Foods, Kellogg Australia, Nestlé Australia, Popina Foods and Sanitarium.
Between them they possess about 80% of the AU$1.2bn Australian breakfast cereal market, according to the Australian Food and Grocery Council (AFGC), adding that the forum would improve consumer understanding of breakfast cereals by engaging in a positive dialogue with stakeholders and consumers.
Gary Dawson, chief executive at the AFGC, said the forum would provide evidence-based, practical information on the benefits of breakfast cereals.
“Through continued education, the ABCMF aims to improve consumer understanding of the important role that breakfast cereal can play as part of a healthy, balanced diet,” Dawson said.
Dawson pointed out that the cereal sector is critical to the food industry given that it employs approximately 3000 people – many in rural and regional areas.
“All forum members manufacture locally for the Australian market and rely almost exclusively on Australian grown grain,” said Dawson.
Australian cereal makers have been in the news for all the right reasons over the last year. In June, Kellogg Australia said that it has achieved salt reduction targets for its two flagship products ahead of schedule as per an industry commitment made in 2010.
The cereal maker said that it had reduced the salt levels in its flagship Corn Flakes and Rice Bubbles cereal products by 20%, fulfilling its commitment on breakfast cereals under the Food and Health Dialogue.
In January, Cereal Partners Worldwide, an alliance of Nestlé and General Mills, celebrated the Heart Foundation endorsing a large percentage of its cereal brands sold in Australia including Cheerios through its Tick programme.
The Tick programme challenges food companies to meet its strict nutrition and labelling standards, and depending on the product, the standard sets criteria for saturated fat, trans fat, kilojoules, salt, fibre, and calcium.