Country of Origin labelling changes come into effect but, with transition period
Australia’s new country of origin labelling (‘CoOL’) scheme has commenced as of 1 July 2016, introducing new origin claims to be displayed on packages for food products sold in Australia.
The scheme has a two-year transition period to allow businesses to adapt to the new requirements, with full compliance required by 1 July 2018. Until this date, labels that are compliant with Part 5-3 of the Australian Consumer Law are permitted to be used on the product label. In addition, a stock-in-trade provision will allow products to see out their use-by date even after the 2018 date has passed.
The new CoOL requirements have been introduced under a new Information Standard introduced into the Australian Consumer Law, replacing the previous requirements under both the Australian New Zealand Food Standards Code and the Australian Consumer Law.
The new laws introduce the use of a kangaroo logo for products of Australian origin and a bar chart indicating the percentage amount of Australian ingredients in a product. Labelling requirements are lessened for products considered to be ‘non-priority’ (seasonings, confectionary, biscuits and snack foods, bottled water, soft drinks and sports drinks, tea and coffee and alcoholic beverages).
An online tool has been developed by the Department of Industry to assist food producers in determining what label can be displayed on their product. Origin statements can be downloaded directly from the tool for use on pack.
Further discussion and information about the new requirements can be obtained from FoodLegal.