Country of Origin Labelling

Following an outbreak of Hepatitis A allegedly linked to imported frozen berries, the Commonwealth announced in mid-2015 that a new Country of Origin labelling scheme would be developed.

A scheme has been developed and which is hoped to be ready to implement by mid-2016. This is a complex issue and the interdepartmental team, led by the Department of Industry, Innovation and Science, have clearly given the matter considerable thought. The percentage of a product from outside Australia is proposed in a bar code on a label. County of origin of each component of a processed food is not proposed.

More detail can be found at

Key points are;

  • The system will be implemented via Australian Consumer Law and so will require the agreement of all States.
  • The new proposal brings together the current system, that in the Food Standards Code, the system used by Customs and the Made in Australia logo.
  • Significant market research has been done.
  • A phase-in process is proposed.
  • The scheme will be reviewed after a transition period.
  • The aim is to harmonise with nutrition labelling and health star ratings.
  • A number of points remain to be resolved.

It was clear from a consultation meeting in Brisbane on 14 January that many companies had not understood the proposal and that issues affecting a range of companies had not been resolved.

FoodStream members Jacinta Sexton and Marie Lewis are labelling experts and can assist with labelling issues, contact us at

There is still time to comment, even if time is short.

Comments are closed.