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Trade measurement laws regulate the retail and wholesale sale of bread and bakery products.

Bread and bakery items are either sold by number or by weight.

Items sold by number

You can sell these bakery items by number or individually:

  • cakes (either single serve or less than 125 g) in packs of one or more, including lamingtons and cut cake pieces
  • pikelets, muffins, donuts and bagels
  • single-serve biscuits and cookies
  • single-serve bread rolls, croissants and buns
  • desserts, puddings and rum balls packed and sold on site
  • meringues

If you decide to advertise the weight for these items, you must ensure it is accurate.

Items sold by weight

You must sell these bread and bakery items marked with their weight:

  • biscuits and cookies (in packs of more than one)
  • pre-packaged bread

You are not required to sell non-packaged loaves of bread by weight.

Pre-packaged items

If you sell pre-packaged bread and bakery items, you must:

  • label each package with the weight or number of items
  • label each package with the name and street address of the packer (unless you pack them on the same premises where you sell them) 
  • only display the net weight of the bread or bakery product (do not include the weight of any packaging)
  • mark pre-packaged loaves of bread with the net weight
  • allow for any reduction in weight due to moisture-loss so the package displays an accurate weight at the time of sale

You must make the weight statement:

  • clear to read, at least 2 mm from the edge of the principal display panel and at least 2 mm from other graphics
  • in the same direction as the brand or product name
  • in a colour that provides a distinct contrast with the colour of the background

Read the Guide to the sale of pre-packaged goods to find out more.

Packaging exemptions

You do not need to state the weight, number or packer details on packages of:

  • individual pies, pasties or sausage rolls less than 250 g
  • individual cakes, puddings and sponges less than 125 g
  • up to eight bakery items allowed to be sold by number in a package that is wholly or partly transparent so that a purchaser can readily see the number of items in it

Using scales

If you use a scale to weigh and sell bread and bakery items that aren’t pre-packaged, you must ensure that:

  • the National Measurement Institute (NMI) has approved your type of scale and any attached modules (i.e. point of sale system)
  • a servicing licensee has verified your scales and any attached modules
  • you and your staff use the scales in the correct manner (e.g. level and indicating zero before use)
  • you position the scales so that the customer can easily see the weighing process (if not, you must provide a written statement of the weight)
  • you keep the scales clean and in good working order
  • a servicing licensee verifies the scales after each repair or adjustment

You are responsible for making sure the scale is correct at all times.

We recommend that you have all your scales checked regularly by a technician licensed by NMI (servicing licensee). For a list of servicing licensees, email tmlicensees@measurement.gov.au.

Regulating the sale of bread and bakery products

The National Measurement Act 1960 and the National Trade Measurement Regulations 2009 regulate how bread and bakery products are sold by measurement.

NMI employs trade measurement inspectors throughout Australia. We regularly inspect bread and bakery products being sold to ensure that sellers are following the correct process.

If an inspector finds that you are short-measuring your customers, you could be fined up to $210,000 per offence.

If you have concerns about how bread and bakery is being sold, contact the NMI hotline on 1300 686 664 or email infotm@measurement.gov.au.

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Last updated: 18 June 2019

Content ID: 52551