GS1 Australia CEO, Maria Palazzolo, has called on manufacturers to work with the not-for-profit standards body to develop Extended Packaging applications that will deliver a global food safety culture.
Addressing food safety specialists and manufacturers at the Global Food Safety Conference 2011 in London, Ms Palazzolo said that the time to act is now.
"We need your support to make Extended Packaging a success. This issue not only concerns the protection of consumers; it is the protection of our children and families,” said Palazzolo.
GS1 Australia is working with industry, in collaboration with the Australian Food and Grocery Council (AFGC), to launch GS1 GoScan, the first industry-endorsed iPhone application that delivers detailed Extended Packaging product data to consumers, accurately and in real time.
Ms Palazzolo says the 2011 Review of Food Labelling Law & Policy in Australia Report1, the report of an independent panel presented to Federal, State and Territory Governments in January, identifies an increasing demand for labels to contain more information.
“Demand is increasing for government to take a more strategic approach to food labelling policy. Label space is highly contested with competing pressures from consumers and food suppliers. The battle for label space has intensified,” she says.
“At the same time consumers crave true nutritional health information, especially as allergies have emerged as a major public health problem in developed countries during the 20th Century. Australia and New Zealand have among the highest prevalence of allergic disorders in the developed world,” Palazzolo adds.
A report by Access Economics released by the Australasian Society for Clinical Immunology and Allergy (ASCIA) in 2007 revealed that:
- 4.1 million Australians (19.6%) have at least one allergy
- the highest prevalence is in the working population, with 78% of those with allergy aged 15-64 years
- if current time trends continue, there will be a 70% increase in the number of Australians with allergies affected from 4.1 million now to 7.7 million by 2050, and an increased proportion affected from 19.6% to 26.1%.
Access Economics estimated the financial cost of allergies in Australia to be $7.8 billion in 2007.
“We are all either a sufferer or know someone who is suffering or has died from eating something they didn’t know was in their food. This issue not only concerns the protection of consumers; it is the protection of our children and families,” Palazzolo says.
The GS1 GoScan iPhone application enables a consumer to scan the barcode on a product and then receive detailed product composition data, including :
- ingredient lists
- nutritional content
- daily Intake information
- dietary information such as Kosher, Halal, Organic and others
- preparation, usage and storage instructions
- allergen information
- net contents and serving information
- country of origin;
- and product data such as descriptions and images.
GS1 GoScan leverages the Global Data Synchronisation Network datapool, GS1net, to enable brand owners to collect, validate and publish product information.
“As a neutral, not-for profit organisation, GS1 Australia can be a trusted source of Extended Packaging data from all manufacturers and suppliers in Australia. Commit to your customers, work with us and together we can deliver a global food safety culture,” Palazzolo concludes.