What labels do I need to use?
It is important to note that the Standard does not apply to all foods. For example, food sold for immediate consumption at a café or restaurant, or food sold on the premises where it has been produced, such as at a bakery. However, assuming that the Standard does apply, labelling obligations depend on whether the food is classified as a 1.) priority food or 2.) non-priority food.
Businesses should assume that their food products are priority foods unless they fall into one of the seven non-priority food categories set out in the Standard. The categories for non-priority foods are: 1.) seasoning, 2.) confectionary, 3.) biscuits and snack foods, 4.) soft drinks and sports drinks, 5.) tea and coffee, 6.) alcoholic beverages, and 7.) bottled water.
Make sure to check the Standard thoroughly before deciding your food is non-priority as some foods, like muesli bars, are defined as priority despite being commonly thought of as snack foods.
If your food is non-priority, you only need to include a text statement identifying the country of origin (eg, “Product of Australia” or “Made in Italy”). You can use the same labelling system as is required for priority foods if you want, but if you choose this option you have to comply with the Standard as if your product was a priority food. This could be an attractive option for businesses to standardise their approach across all products, particularly if the new Standard proves popular with consumers.
All priority foods are required to bear a “standard mark label”, which may consist of up to three elements; (1) the Kangaroo symbol; (2) a bar chart indicating the proportion of Australian ingredients; and (3) explanatory text indicating the food’s country of origin and the percentage of Australian ingredients. All standard mark labels must be contained within a clearly defined box.
The exact requirements of the label depend on the country of origin and whether the food was “grown”, “produced”, “made” or “packed” there. The below table sets out some rules of thumb and example labels.