Getting set for Country of Origin Labelling deadline, July 1

  • Mike Sullivan
  • Legal

FOOD PRODUCERS are on the countdown to showing they are compliant with the new Country of Origin Labelling (CoOL) legislation which comes into effect on July 1.

To assist, GS1 Australia is working closely with retailers to make sure their food suppliers are ready.

All companies that sell food priority products in Australian retail stores and online sites have until July 1, 2018, to change their labels to comply with the CoOL requirements.

By law, labels for priority food products grown, produced or made in Australia will have to carry the familiar Australian Made kangaroo symbol and bar chart, with accompanying text, that shows the proportion of Australian ingredients in the product. Non-priority foods only require a text statement of origin on their labels. 

GS1 Australia claims the new labels will provide Australian consumers with clearer and more meaningful country of origin information, so they can make more informed choices about the food they buy.

“Our collaboration with the retailers supports the shared vision of providing consumers with clearer information about the origins of their food,” GS1 Australia’s head of data and digital content services, John Hearn said.

“It also provides food suppliers with solutions to upload and share their CoOL attribute data with retailers who use our digital services.”

Mr Hearn said GS1 Australia’s suite of digital content services provided an easy solution for suppliers to provide their CoOL information to retailers.

The Data and Digital Content Services team at GS1 Australia have added the CoOL data fields to the National Product Catalogue (NPC) – GS1 Australia’s synchronisation solution that helps businesses exchange standardised supply chain information with their trading partners.

This means that food suppliers can enter CoOL attribute product data in the NPC and forward this information to retailers from a single location.

“Smart Media, our complete digital marketing solution for sharing digital content and photography with retailers and online marketplaces, also supports the Country of Origin Labelling data requirements of all major retailers,” Mr Hearn said.

To further assist suppliers and their trading partners, the GS1 Barcode Check Verification Report has also been updated to include CoOL legislation images as they appear on the finished product.

“GS1 Australia’s support so far has assisted the enablement of many food suppliers to be ready for July 1,” Mr Hearn said.

“An increasing number of suppliers are now populating CoOL attributes in the National Product Catalogue with many more suppliers in the pipeline to complete the legislative requirements.

“It is great to see that many food suppliers are populating the CoOL fields in the National Product Catalogue and we encourage all of them to start uploading content, so they are ready and compliant with the CoOL legislation,” Mr Hearn said.

He said this collaborative success story further demonstrated GS1 Australia’s commitment to the continued exchange of quality data between trading partners.

To assist in understanding the food labelling laws, GS1 has created a video supported by Coles and Metcash.

Further information is also available on the Australian Government website.

www.gs1au.org

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