New branded food database announced

GS1 Australia and Food Standards Australia New Zealand (FSANZ) are collaborating to develop a central source of nutrient content for brand-specific foods and beverages sold in Australia.

Consumers will be able to access the ‘Branded Food Database’ to make more informed decisions about the products they buy. The database will also support public health initiatives such as the Health Star Rating system and the Healthy Food Partnership.

“The database will deliver benefits to consumers, industry, health professionals and policy makers by providing a ‘single source of truth’ containing credible product information, which is accurate, comprehensive and updated regularly,” says FSANZ interim CEO Dr Sandra Cuthbert.

How it will work

Unlike other databases, the product information will be provided directly by brand owners.

The goal is to have 85 per cent of all packaged food and beverage products sold by national retailers, loaded and available by 2023.

GS1 Australia will host the data and facilitate the collection and loading of product information from brand owners. It will also undertake a range of comprehensive data quality measures, including in-store product data audits, to ensure the accuracy and timelines on the database ensuring the data can be relied on by consumers and industry stakeholders alike.

“Having hosted and managed an industry database for over 25 years, we are glad we could lend our expertise in the capture and storage of product master data to FSANZ and our industry partners,” says GS1 Australia Executive Director and CEO Maria Palazzolo.

Leveraging expertise

The database will leverage decades of work already invested in the GS1 Australia program, the National Product Catalogue and the Global Data Synchronisation Network (GDSN), an industry-driven tool used throughout the world to share product master data between brand owners and retailers and drive supply chain and merchandising efficiencies.

Other similar initiatives are taking place around the world, with GS1 Working with government bodies in the US and New Zealand to deliver food product data from manufacturers and suppliers.

“Once we have this valuable tool built and populated with the majority of items consumers can buy, we believe there will be many other tools such as nutrition apps that can bring this data directly to consumers and that’s where the value is really delivered,” says Ms Palazzolo.

Information for brand owners

GS1 Australia and FSANZ have already begun reaching out to key stakeholders. More detailed communications will be released in the lead up to Christmas and a focused industry engagement program will begin in January 2022.

To discuss your participation email fsanz@gs1au.org.

For more information visit www.gs1au.org/bfd.