New food labelling on the right track

13th April 2016

Australia is getting new food labelling so consumers can understand where their food comes from.  Under the new labelling system, food grown, produced or made in Australia will carry a mandatory kangaroo and a bar chart indicating how much of the product contains Australian ingredients, plus a written percentage, based on the weight of the ingredients used.  An accompanying explanatory statement will explain whether the food was grown, produced and/or made in Australia.

food-labelling

Detailing the country of origin of specific ingredients, whether from Australia or overseas is voluntary under the new laws, and thus do not have to be disclosed.

Imported food and food packed in Australia will also have new labels.

The change will be introduced from July with the labels expected to appear in retail outlets later this year.

The changes to country of origin labelling requirements will also see authority for policing the laws shift from the Food Standards Code to Australian Consumer Law with the ACCC receiving an additional $4.2 million in funding over the next five years for enforcement.

Fresh seafood that is not sold as ready to eat is already labelled with its country of origin.  The Association continues to call for tighter laws around the use of Australian fish names and believes that the Australian fish naming standard should be legislated.  At the moment there are no rules about what fish can be called and unrelated imported species are increasingly labelled with Australian fish names such as flathead.