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Food labels provide more clarity for consumers

2 July 2018

Australian consumers will now have more clarity and less confusion about the food products they buy.

Consumers will now be able to look to the familiar kangaroo symbol for clear and accurate information on if the food was made, grown, produced or packed in Australia, or in another country, with the new country of origin labelling requirements for food now mandatory.

Assistant Minister for Science, Jobs and Innovation Zed Seselja said the Australian Government had successfully delivered on community expectations that food labelling should provide a true statement about the product's origin.

"Australian consumers were rightfully concerned about unclear and confusing food labels."

"The Government addressed those concerns by implementing significant reforms to food labelling."

"The new labels provide consumers with accurate information and real choice. Australians will now find it easier to choose products that match their preferences during their weekly shop," Assistant Minister Seselja said.

“Australian farmers and producers will see the benefits with consumers able to identify and choose to buy Australian products.”

"I commend the many businesses that adopted the new labelling before the end of the transition period. This shows their willingness to provide consumers with more meaningful information about product origin."

The ACCC and other consumer affairs agencies are now enforcing the regulations. Any business that fails to comply with the new requirements or deliberately misleads consumers may face action.

The food labelling reforms commenced on 1 July 2016 after consultation with the Australian community and businesses. Australian consumers made it known that they wanted clearer and more meaningful food labelling, so they could make more informed choices about the food they buy.

Businesses were given two years to transition to the new arrangements. The transition period ended on 1 July 2018. Most food products sold in Australia must now meet the new labelling requirements. Stock in trade provisions minimise the need to relabel products labelled before 1 July 2018.

Information for consumers can be found on the ACCC website.

Businesses looking for more information should visit the ACCC and Business.gov.au websites.

Media contacts: Assistant Minister Seselja's office (02) 6247 6444