An International Network for Food and Obesity/non-communicable diseases (NCDs) Research, Monitoring and Action Support (INFORMAS) has been established to monitor and benchmark food environments globally and support actions to reduce obesity, NCDs and their related inequalities. INFORMAS will be fully implemented in New Zealand as the first national survey of the healthiness of food environments and the degree of implementation of the policies that influence them. In addition, for four key modules (food prices, provision, promotion and retail), 'environmental equity' indicators will be developed to assess progress towards reducing diet-related health inequalities. New Zealand food environments will be compared with those of other countries as a first step towards global benchmarking of food environments and their related policies. Effective policy responses will be identified to improve the healthiness of food environments, and this baseline INFORMAS database will ensure that the impact of future food and nutrition policies can be evaluated.