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New country of origin food labelling standard announced

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FOOD Standards Australia New Zealand (FSANZ) has announced the new country of origin food labelling standard for Australia.

The standard will come into full force for unpackaged fruit, vegetables, nuts and seafood products in six months time, for unpackaged pork products in 12 months, and for packaged goods in two years time.

“Australian consumers have indicated that they wish to know the country of origin of their products,” Parliamentary secretary to the Minister for Health and Ageing Christopher Pyne said.

“The new standard means they will be able to go into a supermarket, or their local shop, and be able to clearly see which country any packaged food or unpackaged fruit, vegetable, nut, seafood and fresh pork, ham and bacon product comes from.”

The new standard includes broadening the scope to include unpackaged fresh pork, ham and bacon products and processed unpackaged seafood, vegetables, nuts and fruit.

It requires that unpackaged products included in the standard have a specific country of origin label - not just a statement that the product is imported. Distinct statement of origin information is also required on packaged products.

Country of origin declarations for packaged and unpackaged foods must also be consistent with trade practices legislation and trade practices law.

The new standard also features strengthened requirements for legibility and print size on labels and signs used to declare the country of origin for unpackaged foods.

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