Time is running out – compliance with the new food labelling changes

Macpherson Kelley previously reported on the new country of origin food labelling regime, which came into effect under the Australian Consumer Law (ACL) on 1 July 2016.

Manufacturers are reminded that the two-year transitional period is coming to an end, and that compliance with the regime becomes mandatory on 1 July 2018.

As part of the changes, all priority foods grown, produced or made in Australia must have on its label:

  • a triangle kangaroo logo;
  • a bar chart indicating the percentage of Australian ingredients; and
  • an explanatory statement inside a box (e.g. “Made in Australia from at least 80% Australian ingredients”).

Making a ‘made in’ claim requires the goods to have been ‘substantially transformed’ in the country where the goods are being claimed to be made in. This requires a process or processes to alter the goods so they are fundamentally different from the ingredients imported into that country. Minor processes such as canning, dicing and packaging will not justify a ‘made in’ claim.

Macpherson Kelley acts for many food producers, processors and importers. If you would like further information about the changes, or food safety or labelling requirements more generally, please contact Paul Kirton.

This article was written by Jason Han, Graduate Lawyer – Commercial.