Food label deadline looms

Food businesses have less than six months left before the new country-of-origin labelling requirements become mandatory on July 1.

In response to public demand, the Turnbull Government is implementing new rules for food businesses that make it clear where a product was made, grown, produced or packed.

Under the new requirements, most Australian foods sold at retail will need to carry a label with a clearly defined box containing:

  • a kangaroo in a triangle logo to indicate that food was grown, produced or made in Australia
  • a bar chart to indicate the proportion of Australian ingredients in the food
  • a statement summarising the visual information.

The new country-of-origin labels for food were introduced on July 1, 2016 as a result of a new Information Standard and subsequent amendments to the Competition and Consumer Act 2010.

Minister for Jobs and Innovation Michaelia Cash says the legislation not only gives consumers the information they’ve been asking for, but also minimises costs to businesses by providing flexibility in how the labels can be applied to packaging.

“With more and more products carrying the new labels, shoppers are getting better information about the products they buy,” she says.

“I applaud the many businesses that have already embraced the labelling reforms and urge those that haven’t changed over to the new labels to do so as soon as possible.”

More information is available from the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission’s website for businesses looking to understand the new requirements and what they mean for their products well ahead of the July 1 deadline.

Businesses can also access a range of resources, including an online tool to help design the new labels and a style guide.

Businesses which fail to make the changes in time risk the ACCC or state and territory consumer affairs agencies taking action against them.

This could include the issuing of infringement notices or applying to a court for penalties of up to $1.1 million.

► Have a question about country of origin labelling? Talk to one of our International Trade advisors now on (08) 9365 7504 or visit our website today.

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