Country of origin food labelling can let consumers know which country a product came from. If you supply food for retail sale in Australia then the Country of Origin Food Labelling Information Standard 2016 (the Information Standard) may apply to your products. If the Information Standard does not apply to your product, then the Australia New Zealand Food Standards Code will apply.

If the Information Standard applies to your product, the country of origin label must identify where the product was made, produced, grown or packed, or from which country it was imported.

The Information Standard applies to most food for retail sale in Australia, such as food sold to the public in stores or markets, or from vending machines, and whether it is packaged or unpackaged.

The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) is responsible for administering the Information Standard.

Country of origin food labelling variations

Labelling requirements under the Information Standard will vary depending on whether the food:

  • is a priority or non-priority food
  • was grown, produced, made or packed in Australia
  • is offered for sale loose or in a package.

In Australia, the country of origin information must be accurate and factually correct. Making false or misleading or deceptive claims can lead to penalties.

When does the Information Standard apply?

The Information Standard is optional for non-priority foods. These foods do still require an origin statement.

Non-priority foods are:

  • seasonings
  • confectionery
  • biscuits and snack food
  • bottled water
  • soft drinks and sports drinks
  • tea and coffee
  • alcoholic beverages.

All other food products are priority foods to which the Information Standard applies and the standard mark is mandatory.

Country of origin labelling is not required on the following food products:

  • foods not for human consumption (for example, pet food)
  • foods sold in restaurants, cafes, take-away shops or schools
  • foods sold at fundraisers
  • foods sold from the same premises in which they have been made and packed. For example - a bakery that sells its food products from the bakery’s shop-front will not need an origin label on their food products. However, if that same bakery takes its products to sell at a market, an origin label will be required.

What’s the difference between a standard mark and an origin statement?

Across our country of origin food labelling content, we use a number of legislative terms. These terms are used for their specific meaning and can become confusing.

  • The standard mark is a requirement under the Information Standard. The standard mark content is encapsulated in an outline box, designed to comply with specific legislative requirements. A standard mark developed in this manner then becomes your food product’s origin label.
  • A country of origin statement is text only that identifies the product’s country of origin.

Country of origin label resources

Our country of origin label resources show you what the different labels are used for and which elements are required for different food products.

View our resources

Imported foods

Imported foods must also comply with the Information Standard. Foods are imported when they are not grown, produced or made or packed in Australia.

Most imported priority foods require the standard mark. For imported non-priority foods, the origin statement does not need to be within a clearly defined box.

To meet the requirements, you may either:

  • source imported products that already have the correct origin labels, or
  • over-sticker with compliant origin labels.

Imported foods are not eligible to use the kangaroo logo.

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