In Australia, if you sell food at the retail level, your products must be labelled according to the Country of Origin Food Labelling Information Standard 2016 (Standard) by 1 July 2018. The new country of origin labelling requirements are designed to help consumers make informed decisions about the foods they buy.
Under the Standard, the new ‘standard mark’ labels must be used for ‘priority’ foods that are grown, produced or made in Australia (and for priority foods that are packed in Australia).
All foods are priority foods, with the exception of foods that fall within one of the following categories:
Biscuits and snack food
To comply with the Standard, labels on ‘priority’ foods must clearly show the percentage of Australian-grown or produced ingredients in the food product.
The labels must also state whether the food was ‘grown’, ‘produced’, ‘made’ or ‘packed’ in Australia and include the kangaroo logo (note that the kangaroo logo cannot be used for food packed in Australia or for food grown, produced or made in other countries).
Any products you labelled on or before 30 June 2018 that comply with the country of origin labelling requirements under the Food Standards Code can see out their shelf-life and don’t require re-labelling. However, foods labelled from 1 July 2018 must follow the new rules under the Standard.
A food may only carry a ‘Grown in Australia’ or ‘Produced in Australia’ standard mark label if it contains exclusively Australian ingredients.
Unpackaged fruit and vegetables (including nuts, spices, herbs, fungi, legumes and seeds), unpackaged fish and certain meats must be labelled in accordance with the Standard. However, these foods don’t need to be individually labelled with country of origin information. It will be sufficient if the appropriate country of origin label is displayed close to the product e.g. on a shelf talker, hanging sign or display card.
Fresh fruit and vegetables in transparent packaging (e.g. plastic wrap, netting or citrus bags) can have their country of origin labels on the package or displayed close to the product.
Make sure you keep adequate records to back-up the claims you make about the origin of your products. You are required to keep records supporting a country of origin claim for 12 months after the sale of a packaged food item.
Your product suppliers are required to provide you with origin information if you request it from them.
Packaged foods that are suitable for retail sale without any further processing, packaging or labelling should have country of origin labels attached when they are supplied to you.
To generate the new labels - use the online tool. You'll need to answer a series of questions about your food product. This information will help you choose the right label.