01 Jul Country of origin labelling for food products – do you make, sell or import food products suitable for retail sale in Australia?
Written by Eugene Reinboth
From 1 July 2016, there is new country of origin labelling requirements for most food sold in Australia.
These are set out in the Country of Origin Food Labelling Information Standard 2016 made under the Australian Consumer Law (ACL).
Businesses have two years to adopt the new labels before they become mandatory on 1 July 2018.
Consumers have been confused about the country of origin food labelling for a long time.
They have been calling for changes to simplify origin claims on foods and to make them clearer, more meaningful and easier to find.
Businesses, though recognising the value of country of origin labelling, have often struggled to understand labelling requirements or to meet consumer expectations.
It would appear likely that Suppliers who are prepared to adopt the Standard’s requirements before the 1 July 2018 deadline will be rewarded by Consumers’ custom.
The Country of Origin Food Labelling Information Standard 2016 regulates the type and amount of information that businesses will have to provide to consumers about the food they buy.
It will apply to most food offered for retail sale in Australia, including that sold in stores or markets, online or from a vending machine.
The law does not apply to food sold in places like restaurants, cafes, takeaway shops, schools, or to food provided by caterers.
Labelling requirements will vary depending on the type of food product and whether it was grown, produced, made or packed in Australia or another country.
The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) enforces these standards.
It is worth noting that failure to comply with a mandatory standard can give rise to a maximum fine of $220 000 for an individual or $1.1 million for a body corporate (civil penalties for the same amounts also apply).
Eugene Reinboth from our food, wine, liquor licensing and hospitality team will be pleased to help you prepare to meet your obligations under the Standard.