Australia announces country of origin labeling for food products

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The Australian government will enforce new country of origin food labeling system from 2016 to inform consumers where products are made, grown or packaged.

Under the new national standard, locally processed foods will carry a new label featuring green and gold kangaroo and triangle icon, with a bar chart that displays the amount of locally sourced ingredients used in the product.

The products imported into Australia and then re-packed will have a label mentioning where the item was imported from.

The new labels for locally processed foods will include statements such as “Made in Australia from 100% Australian ingredients”, “Packed in Australia, Made in Canada” and “Made in Australia from Australian carrots and French peas.”

Food companies may also include additional information on the labels. The labels may also include digital features in the future.

While making the announcement, Abbott said: “This is a simple and straightforward initiative.

“Consumers will know what they are buying is Australian.

“This is something the Australian public have wanted for a long time.”

According to the figures released by the government’s food labelling community survey, over 17,800 respondents voted for the green and gold triangle design.

The government will continue to work with the states and territories, whose agreement is required to roll out the new labels.

Though Abbott hopes companies would be encouraged to identify the origin of key ingredients with the new rule, it is expected to cost the businesses $37m a year. Consumers could also need to shell out 1c more for every $5 they spend.