Country of Origin Labels, New Requirements

Country of Origin Labels, New Requirements

Misleading information can take many forms, and country of origin labelling has been a hot topic and kept lawyers busy for some time in Australia. A new system for labelling has been approved by the Australian Government. The plan is for the new labels to start hitting supermarket shelves towards the end of 2015. The changes are related to Australia’s Country of Origin Labeling laws that were enacted in February. This is primarily due to a large number of complaints, regarding contaminated foods reaching the Australian supermarkets. One infamous incident involved berries that were said to contain Hepatitis A, which were brought into the country from China.

Who Will Be Affected?

Any business or manufacturer that sells food needs to be aware of the new labelling requirements. This includes any products that contain food, and not just fresh foods. Australian citizens were found, thanks to a survey, to be unaware of what “Made in Australia” actually meant. The new regulations are intended to eliminate this type of confusion. In the future, businesses will be required to specify which parts of a product are actually Australian.

When Will the Changes Take Place?

It’s expected that the new laws will be enforced in 2016, once State Governments are in agreement with the changes. For now, the Federal Government is hoping that companies will start to adopt the new labels voluntarily, by the end of 2015.