New country of origin food labelling from 1 July

Businesses that sell food in retail stores in Australia need to know about the new country of origin food labelling laws which will apply from 1 July 2016.

The new requirements regarding country of origin food labelling will vary depending on:

  • the type of food product and
  • whether it was grown, produced, made or packed in Australia or another country.

Even though the new laws come into effect from 1 July, there is a period of 2 years within which businesses will have the time to implement the changes – so products that are packaged up until 1 July 2018 will still be able to contain labelling that complies with the previous legal requirements under the Food Standards Code (administered by Food Standards Australia New Zealand).

What businesses (and consumers!) need to knowMade in Australia

  • All food that currently needs to be labelled with a country of origin will continue to do so.
  • Most food that is made, produced or grown in Australia will need to carry a label that also includes a kangaroo symbol, as well as text and a bar chart indicating the percentage of Australian ingredients.
  • Labels for most products packed in Australia that contain imported foods which have undergone no or only minor processing in Australia will carry a ‘packed’ statement, as well as text and a bar chart indicating the percentage of Australian ingredients. They will not carry the kangaroo symbol.
  • Imported food will continue to show where it was grown, produced, made. If the food was not grown, produced or made in a single country it will need to indicate where it was packed and that it is of multiple origins or comprises imported ingredients.

What other businesses need to know this information?

As well as the actual manufacturers, importers, distributors and retailers of the food products, this information is crucial for anyone involved in the package design and marketing of the products (such as graphic designers and marketing).

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Contact the team at Shire Legal on 95263444 or info@shirelegal.com.au if you have any questions about the new requirements, or any other aspect of consumer laws.

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