House debates

Monday, 2 May 2016

Statements by Members


1:44 pm

Photo of Andrew LamingAndrew Laming (Bowman, Liberal Party) Share this | | Hansard source

Australia is a food secure nation, exporting 70 per cent of what we grow—and that is a $19 billion food export surplus—and 90 per cent of everything we eat here is local. As a medical specialist I am also pretty aware that we are not going to beat sedentary lifestyle and poor dietary choices with public health campaigns alone. We need everyone on board. I am glad to see big food is playing a role. Mars Food Australia particularly are focusing on one billion more meals around dining tables by 2021 and a third of those will be here in Australia. That is a global goal. It is impressive. How are they going to do it? They are going to do it by sticking to clear, evidence based criteria around their products, ensuring that all of their product lines meet those evidence based criteria by 2021 and, if something does not meet those criteria, being honest about it and labelling those food products as 'occasional consumption'.

This is not a journey that started yesterday. Over the last five years, Mars Food estimates that it has taken 1,000 tonnes of sugar and about 300 tonnes of salt out of Australia's diet. Recommending more whole grains and vegetables with their products could mean potentially another 13½ million serves of vegetables over that time. They think they can get another 20 per cent reduction.

Further, they have come up with the Dolmio Pepper Hacker, an ingenious device for you gadget lovers which, the minute you turn up at the dining room table, deactivates every mobile device and turns off the TV. What a great way to reclaim the dining room table. Well done, Mars Food.