Food businesses have just one month left before the new country of origin labelling requirements become mandatory on 1 July.
Australian consumers have made it known they want clearer and more meaningful food labelling, so they can make more informed choices about the food they buy. They want labels to show if the food they are buying was made, grown, produced or packed in Australia or in another country.
Businesses that fail to make labelling changes by 1 July risk the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) or state and territory consumer affairs agencies taking action against them. This could include the issuing of infringement notices or applying to a court for penalties of up to $1.1 million.
Food products that are packaged and labelled according to the Australia New Zealand Food Standards Code on or before 30 June 2018 can still be sold without the new labels after that date.
Assistant Minister for Science, Jobs and Innovation, Zed Seselja, said the Australian Government has responded to consumer demand by implementing new rules for food businesses.
“We’ve delivered these reforms to give consumers the information they’ve been asking for, while seeking to minimise costs to businesses by giving them flexibility in how the labels can be applied to packaging.
“I applaud the many businesses that have already embraced the labelling reforms and urge those businesses that haven’t changed over to the new labels to do so as soon as possible,” said Minister Seselja.
Businesses looking to understand the new requirements can find information on the ACCC website and Business.gov.au.