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Grown in Australia? New food labelling system offers the answers

Posted by On 12:00 AM

Grown in Australia? New food labelling system offers the answers

Health Grown in Australia? New food labelling system offers the answers

Consumers will have more information about the source of ingredients as new standard takes effect from 1 July

A shopping trolley
From 1 July, Australian manufacturers will have to comply with a new standard for food labels. Photograph: Bloomberg/Bloomberg via Getty Images

Australian consumers will have more information about whether their food is grown or produced in the country after a new food labelling system comes into effect on Sunday.

From 1 July, manufacturers will have to comply with a new standard for food labels, which will include more details about where the ingredients are sourced.

The new labels will fall into four categories:

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Grown in Australia: This is a claim about where the ingredients come from, and where processing has occurred. The label is mainly used for fresh food, such as fruit, vegetables and meat. Food can carry this mark only if it contains exclusively Australian ingredients.

Produced in Australia: This is a claim about where the ingredients come from and where processing has occurred. The label is often used for processed foods. For example almond milk is not entirely made of products that grow, but may contain ingredients such as water, or other products may include additives. Food can carry this mark only if it contains exclusively Australian ingredients.

Made in Australia: This is a claim about the manufacturing process involved in making the food. This can include food with no ingredients from Australia. It refers to a food that underwent its last substantial transformation in Australia, for example chopping up imported apples and combining it with other ingredients to make an apple pie. A bar chart will indicate the percentage of ingredients that have come from Australia.

Packed in Australia: This is a claim for foods that contain ingredients from multiple countries and cannot claim to have been grown, produced or made in Australia or any other country. The label will only feature a bar chart that shows the percentage of Australian ingredients.

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The labels will feature either a simple text statement, or a mark that includes a kangaroo logo, accompanying text and a gold chart, which will show the percentage of ingredients sourced in Australia.

Food packaged and labelled on or before 30 June can still be sold without the new labels after that date.

The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission has warned businesses it will check 10,000 food products to make sure they comply with the law.

“We have people on the ground to carry out these inspections and will initially focus on fresh or short-shelf products sold by supermarkets, both large and small,” ACCC deputy chairman Mick Keogh said in a statement.

“We will raise concerns with businesses where we believe there is an issue with country of origin labelling. As always, we are able to escalate cases which warrant stronger action.”

While the laws come into effect on Sunday, manufacturers have had two years to adjust to the change as the Country of Origin Food Labelling Information Standard commenced in 2016.

The labels will be mandatory on food sold in stores, markets, online and from a vending machine, and there will be exem ptions on products such as unpackaged items, foods sold in restaurants and items to be exported.

While all other foods must carry a country of origin label, there are different requirements for foods classified as non-priority, including seasonings, confectionary, snack foods, soft drinks, alcohol and bottled water.

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Source: Google Australia | Netizen 24 Australia

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