Just Three Weeks Left To Comply With New Laws For Your Food Labels

The new country of origin food labelling laws come into effect on July 1, 2018. This means you have just three weeks left to comply with new laws for your food labels. These new laws relate to all food suppliers that sell their food products in retail stores. Below is the government link that contains information and other links.

https://www.business.gov.au/info/run/goods-and-services/selling-goods-and-services/selling-goods/country-of-origin-food-labelling

Please don’t think that these new laws for your food labels are just coming into effect in three weeks with no prior notice. These laws were flagged back in 2015 when Tony Abbott was still Prime Minister and when Barnaby Joyce was the agricultural minister. In fact, these new laws for food labels actually began on July 1, 2016. You should have seen many of the labels already in shops because the transition period began on July 1, 2016 and that transition period ends on June 30, 2018. That means you are liable for prosecution if your labels do not comply with this new country of origin legislation.

The main change is that your food products if they are sold in retail outlets should now display a rectangle like a ruler with four markings inside the rectangle. An example is below.

Sultan's Kitchen Labels

 

From this diagram on your food labels, consumers will easily be able to tell the approximate percentage of local ingredients used to make your food product. As the food producer, you must calculate to the nearest 10% what proportion of your ingredients are sourced in Australia. The Australian Competition & Consumer Commission has created this 25 page document and it goes into great detail about these rules. Below is the link to that PDF document.

https://www.accc.gov.au/system/files/1168_Country%20of%20Origin%20and%20the%20ACL_FA.pdf

Small Food Producers Must Also Comply With New Country of Origin Labelling Laws

It is important to note that this law applies to small food producers as well as large companies. On page 3 of this document, it clearly states the following:

“If you sell or supply food for sale to consumers in stores, markets, online or from vending machines it is likely that you will be required to comply with the Country of Origin Food Labelling Information Standard 2016 (Food Labelling Standard), which is made under the ACL.”

This means there are very few exceptions for food producers when it comes to these country of origin food labelling laws. It means, you really need to understand these laws. Page 3 of this document also outlines the three types of labels that you may need. These are shown below:

Country of Origin Labels

Examples of Country of Origin labels from the ‘Country of origin claims
and the Australian Consumer Law’ guide document linked above

Even though this is the third blog I have written on this subject of country of origin laws pertaining to food labels, I should point out that I am not a lawyer. I simply own a fast growing label printing company so I am not qualified to give legal advice. I encourage you to do your own research and refer to government websites outlined in all three of these blogs.

If you choose Renton’s Labels as your preferred supplier of food labels, then we will refer you to these blogs or government sites if you need more information. We cannot check the accuracy of your food labels as we do not know the origin of your ingredients.

Having said that, you are still welcome to email us at info@rentonslabels.com.au with questions or a quotation request.

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