The Australian Government is introducing new food labelling requirements. Food businesses have begun applying easy to understand labels which tell you at a glance where your food is grown, produced, made or packed. The labels also tell you what percentage of the ingredients come from Australia.
The new labels give you the information you need to easily make informed decisions about the food you buy.
New food labels offer a clear choice
Most food produced, grown or made in Australia will have the kangaroo logo. Text and a bar chart will show the percentage of Australian ingredients.
Food that was packed in Australia will just feature a bar chart that shows it contains at least some imported ingredients that were simply sliced, frozen, tinned or repacked here.
For imported foods, the label must clearly show the country of origin.
Businesses are updating their labels
Food businesses will use the most appropriate label for each of their products, ensuring that you can make an informed decision about the food you buy. They have been provided with information to help ensure that the label accurately describes the food.
Will all food have the labels?
The new labels apply to food offered for retail sale in Australia, with the exception of food sold in restaurants, cafes, take-away shops or schools.
Some retail foods aren’t required to use the kangaroo logo or show the percentage of Australian ingredients. These foods still have to state where they were grown, produced, made or packed. The new labels can also be used voluntarily.
Foods that aren’t required to use the new labels with the additional information are:
biscuits and snack food
soft drinks and sports drinks
tea and coffee
All other food products offered for retail sale are required to have the new labels.
Why is it happening?
You want to make informed decisions
For many years, Australians have been demanding changes to origin claims on food labels. You want them to be clearer, more meaningful, and accurate.
Up until now, country of origin labelling has often been unclear. It was hard to know the difference between descriptions like ‘made in’ and ‘product of’. The new labels will be easier for you to understand, so you can make a quick, yet informed, decision wherever you buy your food.
Making it clearer and easier
We know your time is precious, so the new labels allow you to quickly understand the origin of the product and make an informed decision.
Labelling will be clear and consistent
The new rules make it clearer for businesses and for you to know when certain claims can and can’t be used. For example, an imported product can’t claim it was ‘Made in Australia’ if it has only undergone minor processing, such as slicing, canning, crumbing, reconstitution or repackaging in Australia.
Food that is produced, grown or made in Australia will have the kangaroo logo, text and a bar chart to show the percentage of Australian ingredients. Food that is packed in Australia will only have the text and bar chart showing the percentage of Australian ingredients. Imported food will clearly show the country of origin.
When is it happening?
Businesses are changing their labels now
The new country of origin labelling requirements came into effect on 1 July 2016. Businesses selling food in Australian retail stores have begun applying the labels.
There is a two-year transition period, giving businesses time to manage the change while still selling their existing stock. This means that over time, you will see more and more labels appearing on products.
Any products that have old labels at the end of the transition period can still be sold until the end of their shelf-life. Food labelled from 1 July 2018 must follow the new rules.
Grown in Australia - For food where all of the ingredients are Australian grown.
Product of Australia - For all food where all of the ingredients are Australian and all major processing has been done here.
Made in Australia - For food where the ingredients come from Australia or overseas and major processing has been done here.
These three labels will have the kangaroo symbol, text and a bar chart which show the percentage of Australian ingredients.
Packed in Australia - Features only a bar chart which shows the percentage of Australian ingredients
All imported foods produced, made, grown or packed outside Australia must have their country of origin on the label.