Foodwise (news articles)
01 June 2015
As part of the Federal Government reforms to country of origin labelling laws, the Food Standards Code was extended to include the requirement for raw unpackaged Australian retail meat at the point-of-sale to be labelled with country of origin.
The NSW Food Authority supported and led a national approach to the labelling of unpackaged Australian meat with a single country of origin sign. The use of a single sign is a common sense approach that reduces compliance costs for meat retailers.
While the Food Authority understands that meat retailers display a wide range of products in store, the majority of unpackaged meat offered for sale is a Product of Australia. In these circumstances, the retailer may provide a single country of origin declaration rather than reproduce a statement on each product.
Approval was recently given on the wording of the proposed sign and the Food Authority is currently drafting guidance material to assist industry in the use of the sign, including visual information on the correct and incorrect positioning of the sign – see right.
Correct positioning – country of origin sign is placed directly in front of Australian unpackaged raw meat.
Incorrect positioning – this positioning does not comply as the country of origin sign for Australian unpackaged raw meat is displayed in front of a combination of raw meat and value-added products.
It is important to note that products such as sausages, rissoles, schnitzels and kebabs may have Australian meat but also ingredients that may be imported (value-added products) – therefore, these products cannot be declared as a Product of Australia.
You should ensure these value-added products are displayed separately from unpackaged raw meat. Make sure you are aware of the origin of these ingredients and label each individual product with an appropriate country of origin declaration such as:
- “Made in Australia from local chicken and imported sauce and vegetables”
You should ensure these value-added products are displayed separately from unpackaged raw meat.
To assist in implementing this requirement, the Food Authority is currently developing guidance material, including access to a sign template, which will be available by the end of June and meat retailers will be advised as soon as this is finalised. It is expected that the display of a single sign for country of origin of raw unpackaged Australian retail meat at the point-of-sale will commence at all retail meat premises from July 2015.