If you intend to sell any type of foodstuffs in Australia, you need to understand food labelling or nutritional profiling laws. These laws dictate the information you need to include on the labels of prepared and packaged foods, and failing to conform to these laws can mean the risk of heavy fines. It might be good to consult with an attorney to understand all the details of those laws, but note a few basics so you know where to begin when it comes to your product labelling.
Country of origin
Labelling laws include the country of origin for the foodstuffs, so it's vital that you keep all paperwork for any raw ingredients you buy or include in your food, so you can ensure your labelling is accurate. Items packed in Australia but which contain a certain number of ingredients from out of the country need to show the percentage of imported versus native foods, even if all the processing, meaning slicing, canning, and cooking, is done in Australia.
To make it easier for consumers to see labelling information for their food purchases, graphics are used on food packaging labels. A kangaroo and yellow triangle are included for foods grown or made in Australia, and a bar chart is used to show the percentage of ingredients grown or produced elsewhere. Don't rely on numbers and percentages alone, but these graphics need to be included and should be large and easy to see for any consumer, as this is part of the food labelling requirements.
Nutrition, health, and related claims
Be very careful about making certain claims on your food labelling that cannot be absolutely proven true, such as "Helps build strong bones," or, "Lose weight safely." There are laws that restrict such claims to those that have been proven to be true due to lab research, and your foods need to meet these standards before you can legally make these claims. Unsubstantiated claims might make you liable for reimbursing purchases, and you may also face fines from the government for using these claims.
Be sure you have all advisory statements on your food packaging as required by law. This would include allergen warnings, warnings for foodstuffs that shouldn't be consumed by children or pregnant women, caffeine levels, and artificial sweeteners. An attorney can provide you with a full list of foods that need an advisory statement included on your packaging to ensure you're compliant with these requirements.Share
14 April 2017
Hello, my name is Darren and I live in a small rural community near Alice Springs, Australia. Although I now look like a farmer, this wasn't always the case. I grew up in a big city and spent the first 10 years of my adult life working in an insurance office. However, one day, I realised that I had had enough of that life. I sold my apartment and moved out here to stay with my uncle. He has been a farmer all his life and he took me under his wing. I learnt how to look after the land and how to repair agricultural machinery. I hope you enjoy my blog.