What we do
We want to build a healthy, sustainable, and fair food system. In pursuit of this, our work is varied and projects involve all areas of the food system. Read on for some examples of our work and get a sense of the wide application of our expertise.
Food Policy Network Scoping
Victorian Health Promotion Foundation
Since 2013, the Johns Hopkins Food Policy Network has served as a national centre to connect and grow the capacity of food policy groups across North America. In this scoping exercise, VicHealth wanted to explore the opportunity to establish a food policy network in Victoria. The project included stakeholder interviews and desk research into the possible nature of a food policy network. The final report made recommendations relating to functions and activities, funding, governance, and operating strategy.
Reformulation Program Advisory
Victorian Salt Reduction Partnership
The Partnership was established to reduce salt intakes in Victoria and Australia. This project involved writing a best practice guide to salt reduction for the food industry, and producing an accompanying webinar. The guide includes advice on:
- Setting category reformulation targets
- Conducting competitor benchmarking
- Undertaking relevant sensory testing
- Communicating recipe improvements
The guide can be accessed through the following link:
Institute for Health Transformation,
The Nourish Network is a Collective Impact project from Deakin University’s Institute for Health Transformation. The Nourish Network is a multi-sector collective working to increase demand, availability, and access to healthy, sustainable, and affordable food. The brief for this project included:
- Establishing the Nourish Network and developing its strategy and work plan using a participatory approach
- Growing and strengthening the Network by fostering new connections and providing opportunities for participants to build relationships
- Hosting and facilitating events for participants to share innovative research and practice
- Devising a sustainable funding model
After two years, the Nourish Network is now a thriving model of collaborative working. The Network’s participation, engagement, and reach has grown, and there are currently seven action-research teams pursuing various avenues of shared opportunity, including alternative models of food retail in public organisations (farm to school) and healthy retail resource development.
The Network’s brand identity, website and all communication materials were developed on behalf of the Institute and can be accessed through the following link:
Sugar System Analysis
The George Institute for Global Health
The George Institute’s Thought Leadership program focuses on tackling the world’s biggest killers, including non-communicable diseases; sharing insights that challenge the status quo and fostering discussion that leads to better policy and improved health outcomes. This project involved desk research and stakeholder interviews with 18 actors from across the sugar system. The final report included information on the structural arrangements of the sugar system, influencers on production and consumption, impacts on planetary health, and a framework of system transition. The report was a launched at a roundtable event, with speakers from the Lowitja Institute and the Australian Marine Conservation Society.
More information about the project and report can be downloaded through the following link:
Private Label Policy and Retail Health Strategy
Major Australian Supermarket Group
The brief for this project included:
- Conducting a global audit of food, nutrition, and health policies and initiatives of leading food businesses, including (but not limited to) private label activities (e.g., product innovation, reformulation, labelling, responsible sourcing), in-store retail practices (e.g., checkout policies, price promotions, product placement), and digital tools. The audit was supported by interviews with in-country experts
- Mapping of the global food and nutrition policy landscape to identify issues and current or proposed approaches to tackle them (e.g., taxes, advertising restrictions)
- Drafting a private label and whole store food and health strategy, including potential initiatives and impact measures
Private Label Food and Nutrition Policy
Major Australian C-store Chain
The brief for this project included:
- Auditing the retailer’s existing product portfolio and undertaking a competitor benchmarking exercise
- Conducting a health assessment comparing the product offer to Health Star Rating criteria and the Australian Dietary Guidelines; providing insights as to where improvements could be made
- Developing a reformulation program, which included category-level targets for salt, added sugars, and portion size
- Undertaking a global review of retailer best practices on additives (e.g., colours, flavours, sweeteners, refined starches) and drafting an ingredients standards policy that advanced upon the standards of progressive companies in this space
The potential outcomes of the corporate nutrition and health program were modelled, demonstrating what could be achieved if reformulation was introduced, together with holistic changes to product mix and adapted retail practices.
Share our goal and have a project in mind? We’d love to hear from you.