You get 12 months access to the videos and the tools that go with the video course to help with your labelling needs. You also get updates relating to the legislation as it occurs throughout the 12 months. You will also get access to blogs and other information provided by Food Labelling Experts.
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
We provide individual modules on the mandatory requirements for labelling in our basic training course. It is ‘basic’ because it creates the building blocks of the legal requirements for your food product labels.
You might be in a segment where everybody is making claims and you want to meet the market head-on. Nutrient and health claims have very specific requirements for content and labelling. For example, a low-fat food must be contain no more than 3 g fat/100 g of solid food or no more than 1.5 g fat/100 mL of liquid food. Also, if you wanted to talk about the vitamin or mineral content of a food, you must have at least 10% of the specified recommended dietary intake in a serving of the food and it must be a permitted food and permitted vitamin or mineral to make such a claim.
The Food Standards Code covers most requirements for food labelling. The National Measurement Institute manages the legislation for net weight declarations and the ACCC (Australian Competition and Consumer Commission) looks after country of origin labelling as well as misleading and deceptive information. The States and Territories manage the enforcement of the Food Standards Code. There are also some requirements for labelling through the States and Territories as well, for example the labelling of beverage containers where refunds are given for the return of containers to the relevant depots.
Imported food that is sold at retail in Australia needs to comply with the Food Standards Code requirements for labelling. The information must be in English and any information in the non-English language must not contradict the English label. The food standards permit fixing up of the incorrect information.
Generally, the changes to the Food Standards Code come with a date where food that is produced after that time must comply with the new changes. This means that you need to manage the changeover of your labels from the old labels to the ones incorporating the new requirements. Food manufactured from the date of implementation for the new legislation must carry the new labels. Major labelling changes usually mean a 2-year implementation period (sometimes more, depending on the impact of the labelling change). For example, the changes to country-of-origin requirements were included in new legislation on 1 July 2016 and from 1 July 2018, all food manufactured after 1 July 2018 had to comply with the new labelling requirements.
There is a requirement that information required on food labels must be prominent and a distinct contrast to the background colour so that legibility is achieved. This means that the print size must be sufficient for legibility as well. If you have black type on a dark coloured background, then the information may not be easily read by consumers. The food labels carry information that consumers need to know, especially if they have concerns about the ingredients of the nutritional content of the products. Labels should be easy to read for consumers.
There is the standard format for most foods. You need to label for energy, protein, fat, saturated fat, carbohydrates, sugars and sodium. The levels need to be specified as per serve and per unit quantity. If you make nutrient claims or health claims, then you need to add in other nutrition information depending on the claim made.
The foods that need to be labelled for foods or products of the foods – cereals containing gluten, crustacea and molluscs, egg, fish, milk, peanuts, soybeans, sesame seeds, some tree nuts, lupin and added sulphites at concentrations of 10mg/kg or more. These are the allergens that are more problematic for people in Australia, so it is these that need to be labelled where the food products are, or contain, these ingredients. New allergen labelling requirements were implemented February 2021. The new requirements specify how to label allergens in both the ingredient list and the summary statement which is now mandatory. All foods for sale must be labelled to the new requirements by 25 February 2024.