Australian food labels must easily convey where food is grown, produced, made or packed. This helps consumers make informed decisions about the food they buy.
Requirements and tools for business
If you sell food in retail stores in Australia, you will need to consider if your products need country of origin food labels.
Country of origin labelling requirements for food are in the Country of Origin Food Labelling Information Standard 2016. You can design and apply your own labels as long as they meet the standard.
On the business.gov.au website we provide the following resources:
The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) website explains how to:
- make a country of origin claim
- label food
- make an origin claim for non-food products
Consumer rights and label types
Consumers want quick and accurate information to help decide what food to buy. Food labels need to be clear, consistent and honest. It’s against the law for suppliers to mislead or lie about where their food comes from.
The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) website explains the meaning of each label and your rights as a consumer.
Developing the food labelling system
We consulted with industry and consumers about a new food labelling system and undertook market research. Our findings showed strong support for a new food labelling system. Consumers called for greater clarity about where their food comes from.
The Legislative and Governance Forum on Consumer Affairs (CAF) approved the Decision regulation impact statement with the following endorsed options:
Evaluating the food labelling system
The current requirements for country of origin labelling for food came into full-effect in July 2018. We’re now evaluating the reforms.
We’re examining how well country of origin labelling reforms for food:
- improved consumer access to information about the origin of food
- clarified the origin claims businesses can make about their products
- avoided imposing excessive costs on impacted businesses
We expect to finish the review in June 2021. A variety of methods will inform us, including public consultation on a discussion paper.
Read the evaluation terms of reference [603KB PDF] [78KB DOCX]
Digitising food product data for consumers
We commissioned a report into the potential for digital food labelling in Australia. This would enable businesses to provide digital food product information to their consumers and share information with other businesses in their supply chains.
The report looked at work underway in Australia and overseas to develop web-based data sources, ledgers, apps and interactive supermarket displays.
We found Australia’s food industry is already considering ways to collect and provide digital food product information, and this will be used to inform the future development of digital food labelling. Contact us if you would like to view the report.
Origin labelling for seafood sold in the foodservice sector
The Minister led a working group to consider whether origin labelling should be extended to seafood sold in foodservice. A working group paper and addendum informed discussions. The government is considering outcomes from the consultation.
Origin labelling for complementary medicines
Regulations for country of origin labelling for complementary medicines have changed. This change follows public consultation on the use of the Australian made logo for the complementary medicine sector.
To see what has changed, visit the Competition and Consumer Amendments (Australian-made Complementary Medicines) Regulations 2019 on the Federal Register of Legislation.