From 1 July 2016, the Australian Government is introducing new food labelling. Food businesses will begin applying easy to understand labels which will tell you at a glance where your food is grown, produced, made or packed. The labels will also tell you what percentage of the ingredients come from Australia.
The new labels will give you the information you need to quickly and easily make informed decisions about the food you buy for you and your family.
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 will clearly show the country of origin.
Businesses will update 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’ll be provided with information and guidance to help ensure that the label accurately describes the food.
Will all food have the labels?
The new labels will apply to a range of food offered for retail sale in Australia, with the exception of food sold in restaurants, cafes, take-away shops or schools.
There are some foods that won’t be required to use the kangaroo logo or show the percentage of Australian ingredients, but they will still have to state where they were grown, produced, made or packed. They can also use the new labels with this additional information 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 with the additional information.
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 in the supermarket aisle, at the fruit and veg shop, or the market.
Making it clearer and easier
Working out whether a product is right for you and your family shouldn’t require you to read the fine print on every product or to have an in-depth knowledge of a labelling system. 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 will 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, as well as 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?
New labels apply from 1 July 2016
Businesses selling food in Australian retail stores will need to begin applying the labels from 1 July 2016.
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 food products that still have the old labels at the end of the transition period can still be sold until the end of their shelf-life. Food labelled after the end of the transition period must follow the new rules.
Grown in Australia - For food where 100 per cent of the ingredients are Australian grown.
Product of Australia - For all food where 100 per cent of the ingredients are Australian and all major processing has been done here.
Made in Australia - Means major processing has been done here. Imported foods that are only sliced, canned, reconstituted or repackaged here cannot make this claim.
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 are shown with their country of origin on the label.