Before you can answer the question, “Do my product labels need a barcode?”, you have to know where your products will be sold in the short term or the medium term?
If you only sell your products at weekend markets or online or at your farm or on the side of the road, then a barcode is not necessary? The time to put a barcode on your product labels is when you are getting someone else to sell your products on your behalf.
It is a privilege to have your products on display in a retail outlet. That might be Woolworths, Coles, IGA, chemists, department stores, health food shops or any number of small retailers. When you get that privilege, then you need to comply with the wishes of those retailers. The retailers want to do two things. Firstly, they want detailed statistics of sales and stock levels and they want to move their customers away from the checkout area as quickly as possible. This is done with a barcode. Your product labels need a barcode in most cases when someone else is selling your food product.
The exception to this is fresh fruit and vegetables or even nuts where the customer chooses the amount required. Also, if you provide your food products to local restaurants, then these sales will not require a barcode as the products are used by the restaurant but not actually sold.
Who Supplies Barcodes For Product Labels?
I actually covered the topic, how do I get a barcode for my product labels, in a blog post in 2011. In 2019, we are receiving many more requests for barcode labels as our customers’ businesses are growing and they are selling more products. Our customers are becoming more ambitious and are getting their products into retail outlets.
You should still go to GS1 Australia as your first contact for barcodes. GS1 is a global register of barcodes. When applying for a barcode, you will receive a Legal Entity Identifier (LEI). This is an alpha-numeric code with 20 digits and it contains vital information about you, i.e. name, address and basic ownership information.
There are laws governing the use of barcodes. This includes their size and the background colour (usually white). When you use barcodes on your product, you need the very best graphic designers to design your product labels.
Our team of graphic designers at Renton’s Labels is available to assist with your barcoded product labels. We cannot do the application for a barcode for you but we can ensure you get a great design and importantly we will print your labels in the highest quality to ensure your barcoded labels are compliant. In fact, we test that your labels do actually scan before despatch. This is a vital final step before going to market.