Country of Origin Labelling Legislation Update

On 1 July 2016, the Australian Government introduced changes to country of origin labelling for food to provide clearer and more meaningful information to the Australian community about where their food comes from.

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Implemented through the Country of Origin Food Labelling Information Standard, most Australian foods will need to carry a label with a clearly defined box containing:

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

 

A Bill is also currently being considered by the Parliament which, if passed, will:

  • for claims like ‘made in’:
  1. make it clearer that minor processes such as packaging, slicing or canning are not sufficient, consistent with consumer expectations and international norms;
  2. remove the 50% production cost test.
  • create a new defence for goods labelled in accordance with information standards, such as the Country of Origin Food Labelling Information Standard.

To assist businesses in applying the new requirements, the Department of Industry, Innovation and Science, in partnership with the Department of Agriculture and Water Resources and the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission, is proposing to hold a series of forums in capital cities and regional centres around Australia in February or March 2017.

Interested businesses are encouraged to go to consult.industry.gov.au/cool-taskforce/cool-forums to express their interest and nominate a preferred location.

Information on the reforms, along with several tools to assist with creating labels, is available at business.gov.au/foodlabels 

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