The Advisory Panel on the Marketing in Australia of Infant Formula (APMAIF) Brochure

This brochure aims to provide stakeholders with an understanding of the function of the Advisory Panel on the Marketing in Australia of Infant Formula (APMAIF) and of the Marketing in Australia of Infant Formulas: Manufacturers and Importers (MAIF)

Page last updated: 14 June 2006

PDF printable version of The Advisory Panel on the Marketing in Australia of Infant Formula (APMAIF) Brochure (PDF 38 KB)

The MAIF Agreement - What is it and what does it mean for you?

APMAIF Secretariat
Department of Health and Ageing
Mail Drop Point 15
GPO Box 9848
ACT 2601

Phone: (02) 6289 5181
Fax: (02) 6289 4235
Website: Marketing in Australia of Infant Formulas: Manufacturers and Importers Agreement - www.health.gov.au

For a copy of the Dietary Guidelines for Children and Adolescents in Australia incorporating The Infant Feeding Guidelines for Health Workers and other related
information, visit the NHMRC website

Background

Q. What is the MAIF Agreement?

A. It is the Marketing in Australia of Infant Formulas: Manufacturers and Importers (MAIF) Agreement (1992) (often referred to as the MAIF Agreement or Agreement).

The MAIF Agreement is Australia’s response to becoming a signatory to the World Health Organization’s International Code of Marketing of Breast-milk Substitutes (WHO Code). It sets out the obligations of manufacturers and importers of infant formulas in Australia and gives effect to the principles of the WHO Code.

Q. What is the aim of the MAIF Agreement?

A. The aim of the MAIF Agreement is to help ensure safe and adequate nutrition for infants:
  • through the protection and promotion of breastfeeding;
  • by ensuring the proper use of breast milk substitutes when they are necessary* on the basis of adequate information; and
  • through appropriate marketing and distribution.

Note: The word ‘necessary’ is used here to include mothers who have made an informed choice to use breast milk substitutes.

Q. What does the MAIF Agreement cover?

A. The MAIF Agreement covers the marketing in Australia of infant formulas by manufacturers and importers when such products are marketed or represented to be suitable for use as a partial or total replacement to breast milk. It also covers the quality and availability of such products and the provision of information concerning their use.

Q. Who is involved in the MAIF Agreement?

A. The MAIF Agreement was developed by the Australian Government and member companies of the Infant Formula Manufacturers’ Association of Australia (IFMAA) and was authorised in 1992 under the Trade Practices Act 1974. The infant formula manufacturers have voluntarily signed onto the MAIF Agreement in the interest of the health and development of infants in Australia. The MAIF Agreement is not legally binding.

Q. Which organisations are involved in the MAIF Agreement?

A. The organisations involved in the MAIF Agreement are:
  • Heinz Wattie’s Australasia;
  • Nestlé Australia Limited;
  • Nutricia Australia Pty Ltd;
  • Wyeth Australia;
  • Abbott Australasia; and
  • SNOW Brand.
Top of page

The MAIF Agreement & the WHO Code

Q. What is the difference between the MAIF Agreement and the WHO Code?

A. The MAIF Agreement operates in Australia only. It is Australia’s response to becoming a signatory to the WHO Code. It applies only to manufacturers and importers of infant formulas and does not include other milk products, foods, beverages or feeding bottles and teats.

Retailers of infant formula are also excluded from the MAIF Agreement.

The WHO Code applies to the marketing and related practices of the following products: breast milk substitutes including infant formula; other milk products, feeding bottles and teats and foods and beverages - including bottle-fed complementary foods, when marketed to be suitable for use as a partial or total replacement of breast milk. It also applies to their quality and availability and to information concerning their use. The MAIF Agreement does not implement all aspects of the WHO Code.

The APMAIF Annual Report is available on the APMAIF website. The Annual Report includes full details of the MAIF Agreement along with APMAIF’s interpretations of the MAIF Agreement and other associated guidelines.

Work of the Advisory Panel on the Marketing in Australia of Infant Formula (APMAIF)

The APMAIF’s terms of reference are to:
  • receive and investigate complaints regarding the marketing in Australia of infant formulas;
  • act as a liaison point for issues relating to the marketing in Australia of infant formulas;
  • develop guidelines on the interpretation and application of the MAIF Agreement; and
  • provide advice to the Australian Government Minister for Health and Ageing, on the operation of the Agreement.

Complaints

Q. Who can lodge a complaint?

A. Anyone can lodge a complaint about an alleged breach of the MAIF Agreement.
Where possible, complaints should include the following information:
  1. A summary page containing:
    • Details of the product and the company that promoted the product.
    • If relevant, the title of the material and the date of publication.
    • Date when the alleged breach was identified.
    • Where and how the material was obtained.
    • A brief description of the complaint, itemising specific claims and issues.
    • The section/s of the MAIF Agreement alleged to be breached (if known).
    • Details of any attempts to resolve the matter with the company involved.
  2. Supporting data for medically, scientifically and marketing based complaints, if available.
  3. Your contact details and signature.
  4. A photocopy or original of the relevant promotional material.

If these criteria are not met the APMAIF may return the complaint for further information.

Send your complaints to the APMAIF Secretariat
Contact details on front cover

The Panel Members

The APMAIF has four members and is a non-statutory body appointed by the Australian Government to monitor the MAIF Agreement.

Chair - Ms Pru Goward

Appointed as the APMAIF Chair in November 2005 for a two year term, Ms Goward is also the Federal Sex Discrimination Commissioner and Commissioner Responsible for Age Discrimination at the Human Rights and Equal Opportunity Commission.

Industry Representative - Mr David Forsythe

Executive Director of the Infant Formula Manufacturers’ Association of Australia (IFMAA) and the New Zealand Infant Formula Marketers’ Association (NZIFMA), Mr Forsythe’s appointment to the Panel is on-going with his length of tenure at the discretion of IFMAA.

Community & Consumer Representative - Dr Jennifer James

Re-appointed as the Community & Consumer Representative in December 2004 to November 2006, Dr James is a Clinical Nurse Consultant on Lactation at Melbourne’s Royal Women’s Hospital, is the Vice President of the Australian Lactation Consultants Association National Board and has been a breastfeeding counsellor with the Australian Breastfeeding Association since 1983.

Public Health and Infant Nutrition Expert - Prof Colin Binns

Re-appointed to the Panel as the Public Health and Infant Nutrition Expert in November 2005 to June 2007, Prof Binns is currently the Professor of Public Health at the Curtin University and a member of the Editorial Board, Asia Pacific Journal of Public Health.