Is your business ready for the new food labelling laws?

By Margaret Bux
clock 3 min

New food labelling requirements have been introduced by the Australian Government for food sold in Australia (excluding restaurants, cafes, take-away outlets or schools).

The new labels, to be applied from 1st July 2016, will provide clearer, more meaningful and accurate information about a food’s country of origin, eliminating the ambiguity of ‘made in’ and ‘product of’ statements.   Consumers will be able to make quick and well informed decisions when shopping for food.

Food businesses will have two years until the new labels are mandatory with a two year transition period to allow existing stock to be sold by the end of the period or its shelf life.

What will the labels look like?

Products grown, produced and made in Australia will have a kangaroo symbol, plus text and a bar chart showing the percentage of Australian ingredients, as shown in the following examples:

Products packed in Australia will have text and a bar chart showing the percentage of Australian ingredients or the country where the product is from.

For imported products, that is, foods produced, made, grown and packed outside Australia, the new labels will display the country of origin.

Specific labels

These will be available for some products such as those that are not 100% imported, wanting to highlight Australian content.

For both imported and local products with varying percentages of Australian ingredients, the label will also include a contact number or website for more information.

For non-imported products, the labels can state the specific ingredient which must be sourced from one country only.

Exempt foods

For some foods classified as non-priority, it will not be mandatory but voluntary to use the kangaroo logo or show the percentage of Australian ingredients, however they will still have to state where they were grown, produced, made or packed.  These non-priority foods are:  seasonings, confectionery, biscuits and snack food, bottled water, soft drinks and sports drinks, tea and coffee, alcoholic beverages.

Further information:

For businesses, a style guide and library for downloading label parts is available at  If you are unsure of which country of origin label to use, a country of origin labelling tool will also be available from this site at the end of June 2016.

For consumers, more detailed information is available at

You can also contact the team at Clarke Global at any time to discuss your business’ food importing or exporting requirements or to obtain a free quote on 9854 3000 or


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