Australia’s New Country of Origin Labelling

 

Earlier in the year I attended a food business forum on the new Country of Origin labelling; with the new labelling relating to a range of food businesses, it is an important topic to watch and keep abreast of.

The new Country of Origin labelling came into effect on 1 July 2016 with a two-year transitional period for companies to implement.  Many products are already showing the new Country of Origin mark and the number will continue to increase as it progresses through the transitional period.

Have you started thinking about the Country of Origin labelling with regards to your food products?  Perhaps you have already implemented.  We have and wanted to share the below general overview as an introduction.

Did you know?

The Country of Origin is important to Australian and New Zealanders with 80% and 72% of consumers from each respective country looking for Country of Origin information when purchasing a food for the first time.  This data was gathered from the Consumer Label Survey 2015, undertaken by Food Standards Australia and New Zealand (FSANZ).

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An introduction

Food businesses need to establish whether the nature of their food business and type of food product requires the food product to carry a Country of Origin label.  Packaged foods are categorised as either ‘priority’ or ‘non-priority’ food items, according to the type of food.  ‘Priority’ foods items are required to implement the new Country of Origin labelling and ‘non-priority’ items can voluntarily choose to implement.  Note that unpackaged foods may also need to display the Country of Origin labelling.

Factors such as the following also need to be determined: whether the food was grown, produced, made or packed in Australia or in another country, the percentage of Australian ingredients (if any).  Such factors collectively determine the type of Country of Origin label that is required for each particular product.  Below is an example of many possible variations:

made-in-standard-mark-landscape

Other important information

Average Australian Content: There are circumstances where a manufacturer or producer may need to work out an average Australian content over a required time period.  For example, when the origin for an ingredient is subject to change due to factors such as seasonality.

Record Keeping: Another consideration is ensuring that record keeping is adequate and kept for a required timeframe.

Unpackaged Foods: The new Country of Origin labelling is not limited to packaged foods.  Certain unpackaged foods are also required to display the label either on, close to the product.

Start acting now

Do your products require the new Country of Origin label?  Start acting now.  Further details on Country of Origin labelling for businesses are available here.

Disclaimer: This article is provided for information purposes only. It is not intended as advice and should not be relied upon as such. Independent advice suited to individual circumstances should be sought from relevant industry professionals prior to making any decisions.