By Technical Manager – Robyn Banks
Everyone loves a village market. Part of a weekend wandering around a throng of people in the aura of the village outlook. Stalls with all sorts of arts, crafts, and food to sell. The rustic nature of the setting, relaxing and pure.
Here the “local”, with an idea, a deft hand, or a recipe, that has delighted their family forever, can peddle their wares and make a little money from their passion. There are always the local charities with the obligatory sausage sizzle or coffee/snack outlets looking to fundraise and the smells of their efforts often fill the air adding to the experience, but as soon as you package a food product as we are all aware, the rules as to labelling change.
Does the village market setting give rise to a relaxing of the requirements set to protect consumers? Of course not.
Yet our investigations (a straw poll if you will) show many of these family businesses being somewhat loose with the labelling of their foods. There are those that simply do not care, those who copy what others have done and those who truly have attempted to do the right thing, although their finished labels are still not compliant.
Environmental Health Officers (EHO’s) are extremely busy. Their roles encompass a vast area of public health issues with the compliance of food traders being only one of their concerns, and if consumers are not getting sick – what’s the problem?
Prevention is always better than cure and education rather than penalty is perhaps a better form of compliance enforcement. So how do a small band of EHO’s with limited resources (time being the most precious of them) leverage their time to get around to the markets ensuring compliance.
The education part we have in spades. The Food Labelling Experts courses cover all aspects of food labelling from basic right through to expert level. Directing presently dormant small food manufacturers, particularly those on their non-compliance radar in this time of non-activity to educate themselves is one answer.
We have just released a magazine talking about the anatomy of a food label which is available now. Click the link to access your Food Labelling Made Simple Magazine.
All our courses can be found at www.foodlabellingexperts.com.au discounted as a Covid 19 promotion for the next few months to allow a low cost alternative to noncompliance fines.
Food Labelling Experts – making food labelling simple for YOU!