The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) is urging retailers to take action to ensure compliance with new food labelling requirements which come into effect on 1 July 2018.
Previously, country of origin labelling was regulated under the Australia New Zealand Food Standards Code, but now these requirements have effect under federal law as the Country of Origin Food Labelling Standard 2016 under the Australian Consumer Law.
With the requirements now having effect under force of federal statute, failure to comply with this standard will from next July attract the same penalties as other infringements of the Competition and Consumer Act 2010 – up to $1.1 million for a corporation.
The move also puts food labelling requirements within the regulatory power of the ACCC, which has advised that it will be “actively monitoring” compliance with the standard.
What should businesses do?
The Business.gov website recommends the following steps to design new labels:
- use the Information Standard to determine the correct label for each food product
- have a look at the Competition and Consumer Amendment (Country of Origin) Act 2017
- see how your label should look and be applied to your product using the Style Guide
- download the relevant label parts from the Country of Origin Label Library
More information can be found on the Government website here.
With this increased regulatory oversight, it is important that retailers use this time wisely to ensure compliance with the new standards. If your business needs assistance to make sure its obligations under the standard are met, do not hesitate to call NRA on 1800 RETAIL (1800 738 245).