Published on Jul 30, 2018

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Do you grow, produce, manufacture, distribute, import or sell food products? Make sure you comply with the Country of Origin food labelling requirements.

The two-year transition period commenced in 2016 for new labelling requirements which are now mandatory as of 1 July 2018.  Under the law, Food products sold in Australian retail outlets must display a label which clearly identifies where the food comes from.

Labels on most foods grown, produced or made in Australia need to feature the symbol of a kangaroo in a triangle and indicate the percentage of ingredients that are Australian. Requirements for using claims like ‘Product of’, ‘Made in’ and ‘Packed in’ must be clear.


Standard mark

A standard mark is the new label that has: the kangaroo, bar chart and explanatory text, or bar chart and explanatory text only.  Examples of standard marks:


Not all products will need a mandatory standard mark label, but for some products use of the standard mark label is optional.

Certain products cannot use a standard mark label and will need a country of origin statement instead. These labels are used for products that can’t use or do not need to use a standard mark label. Example, ‘Grown in Mexico’.


When don’t you need to comply?

The new Information Standard covers all food for retail sale in Australia. According to the new Information Standard you will not need a standard mark OR a country of origin statement for the following food product types:

  • foods not for human consumption (for example: pet food, bird food)
  • foods sold in restaurants, cafes, take-away shops or schools
  • foods sold at fundraisers
  • foods sold in the same premises in which they have been made and packed (for example: a bakery that sells their food products exclusively at the shop-front of the facilities where the products were made and packed will not need a standard mark for their food products.


Helping you to choose the right food labelling

If you sell food in Australia and you’re not sure which country of origin label to use, the Country of Origin Labelling (CoOL) online tool is for you. The tool will help you determine if you need a label, and if you do need a label, it will then find, customise and download the appropriate label for your food products.

There are tools and information available to help you understand and use the new labels correctly. You can: