Agreement to restrict advertising of infant formula

The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission has re-authorised an agreement between manufacturers and importers of infant formula that prohibits them from advertising and promoting formula for babies under 12 months of age directly to the public. This five-year agreement is designed to promote breastfeeding in Australia, which has significant public health benefits.

The Marketing in Australia of Infant Formula: Manufacturers and Importers Agreement (MAIF) has been authorised by the ACCC since 1992, and in assessing this most recent application for re-authorisation, the ACCC has taken into account a wide number of views from interested parties regarding ways the MAIF Agreement could be improved.

While most interested parties were of the view that the MAIF Agreement should continue to be authorised, views differed on the appropriate length of time for authorisation given anticipated changes to World Health Organisation recommendations on these issues. Views ranged from a two year authorisation period to a ten year period.

“After careful consideration and balancing the various views put forward, the ACCC has decided to grant authorisation of the MAIF Agreement for a further five years,” ACCC Commissioner Sarah Court said.

Authorisation provides statutory protection from court action for conduct that might otherwise raise concerns under the competition provisions of the Competition and Consumer Act 2010. Broadly, the ACCC may grant an authorisation when it is satisfied that the public benefit from the conduct outweighs any public detriment.

Further information, including a copy of the ACCC’s determination, is available on the ACCC’s Public Register: Infant Nutrition Council Limited – Revocation and Substitution – A91506 & A91507


The Marketing in Australia of Infant Formula is the primary means by which the Australian Government has chosen to give effect to the World Health Organisation’s International Code of Marketing of Breast-milk Substitutes.

After careful consideration and balancing the various views put forward, the ACCC has decided to grant authorisation of the MAIF Agreement for a further five years

Sarah CourtACCC Commissioner

For further information contact Jan Carey 00 61 412 514 735

About the Infant Nutrition Council

The Infant Nutrition Council Ltd (INC) is the association for the infant formula industry in Australia and New Zealand. Its 41 members produce over 95% of the volume of infant formula manufactured, sold and exported in New Zealand. INC plays a key role in ensuring compliance and safety in the industry. All members abide by a Code of Conduct that provides direction on industry issues, including the support of breastfeeding, food regulations and standards, food safety issues, and company representatives’ conduct and activities. INC advocates for optimal nutrition for all infants: breastfeeding first, and, when needed, infant formula as the only suitable alternative. INC members include A2 Milk, Abbott Nutrition, Aspen Nutritionals, Bayer, Danone Nutricia, Fonterra, HJ Heinz, Nestle, Synlait. Associate members include NIG Nutritionals, Westland, Dairy Goat Co-operative, Bodco, Fresco, GMP, New Zealand New Milk, Spring Sheep Milk, Winston, Yashili.