We told you all about the new Country of Origin Food Labels in the May Newsletter but in case you didn't receive the Newsletter we thought we'd do a post on this long awaited development.
What are the Country of Origin Food Labels?
There are four main sections - Grown in Australia, Produced in Australia, Made in Australia and Packed in Australia.
Imported food products that have been produced, made, grown or packed outside Australia must show the country of origin of the contents on the package label.
Grown in Australia
This label is for foods which are 100% Australian grown
Produced In Australia
This label tells you that 100% of the ingredients and all majpr processing was performed in Australia.
Made in Australia
This label is a little different in that it tells you that all major processing happened in Australia and it also tells you the percentage of Australian ingredients in the final product. Any Imported products where ony some minor processing such as slicing or canning has been done cannot use this label.
Packed in Australia
Just shows you the percentage of Australian ingredients in the package.
What is the timeline for this labelling?
The new labels apply from 1 July 2016. There is a 2 year transition period to allow businesses to sell out of their current stock of already packaged products or already printed packages. According to the government website "Any food products that still have the old labels at the end of the transition period can still be sold until the end of their shelf-life. Food labelled after the end of the transition period must follow the new rules."
The bottom line
It will be a while before all our food has the new labels on it but it's a start. I don't know about you but I like to know where my food was grown and made so I can make my own decisions about whether or not I'll buy it.