What New Country Of Origin Food Labels Mean For You

New food labelling laws come into effect on July 1, so here's what you need to know.

What you need to know
  • New food labelling laws come into affect from July 1
  • The new labels will provide more detail about what is Australian grown and what isn't
  • The four new categories are grown, made, produced or packed in Australia

New food labelling laws will come into affect on Sunday to provide more detail about where food is coming from and how it's made.

The new labels will show the country of origin of ingredients used in products and also the type of manufacturing processes used to create food.

The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission introduced country of origin food labelling in 2016, however from July 1 2018, the green and gold kangaroo triangle will include a bar to indicate how much of the product is Australian made.

Image: ACCC

If a product is not Australian, it will carry a label identifying which country it has come from. The type of labelling depends if it is a priority of non-priority food, but we'll get to that later.

Here's what all the terms mean so you know where your food's come from and how it has been made.

Grown In Australia

Items with this label contain only Australian ingredients and will be mainly fresh food like fruit, vegetables and meat. This label can also be used for multi-ingredient products to show where an item was grown and processed.

Image: ACCC
Produced In Australia

This label provides information about where product ingredients come from and where they were processed. This label will be used primarily for processed foods. This means that products containing a mixture of fresh and processed ingredients can also have this label. An item can only have this label if it contains exclusively Australian ingredients.

Made In Australia

Something claiming to be 'Made In Australia' refers to the way in which the item was manufactured. This can include items that have non-Australian ingredients, however the product must have had its last significant transformation in Australia. The bar chart will indicate what percentage of the ingredients in the product are Australian.

Packed In Australia 

This label includes items that have ingredients that can't claim to have been grown, produced or made in Australia. These items will have ingredients from multiple countries, but will have been packed for sale in Australia. If the item was packed in a foreign country, it will carry a label highlighting what country it was packed in.

Image: ACCC
Priority and Non-Priority Foods

This classification determines what type of label a food item must carry.

Non-priority foods must have a label that indicates in which country the food was grown, produced, made or packed. Non-priority foods include seasoning, confectionery, tea, coffee, biscuits, snack food, bottled water, soft drinks, sports drinks and alcohol.

All other foods fall into the priority category, and these mainly include fruit, vegetables, meat, bread, seafood, milk, juice, sauce, honey, nuts and cereal.

Priority foods must be labelled according to their country of origin. If that country of origin is Australia, the green and gold kangaroo and bar will be included, allowing consumers to identify how much of the item is Australian grown, made or produced.

That's all you need to know about Sunday's food labelling changes.

Happy shopping!