Legal Requirements for Australian Food Packaging


Creating your own product can be an exciting adventure. There is so much time and effort that goes to perfecting your recipe/product and in many cases this could be years of developing. Imagine you go to all this dedication, cost and input to only have it ripped off the shelf because your label doesn’t meet the Australian standards legally. Not only could this delay your products success but it could also come with a hefty price tag (we all know packaging can be expensive)

These standards are here to help us all stay safe and you have a legal responsibility to keep your purchases safe and inform them.

As designers we are lot legal advisors and cant give you the advice needed, but we have popped below some of the main things you should look into. Please contact us if you need a legal professional to take a look over as we have trusted partners we can refer you too.



Country of origin claims on packaging and the Australian Law


If you sell food in retail stores in Australia, you must display the Country of Origin Labelling (CoOL) logo and percentage. There is an online tool to help you determine if you need a label, it will also find, customise and download the appropriate label for your food products.



The Australian Made Logo – The mark of Aussie authenticity


This is not a necessity although for some being recognised as genuinely Australian is important. This is a paid subscription were you register your products and there is a certification process.



Product safety rules and standards


If you sell products to Australian customers, including the sale of products online, you must meet product safety requirements under Australian Consumer Law (ACL). If you're a supplier or manufacturer, you are legally obligated to comply with mandatory Australian safety standards and only market safe products. Mandatory standards are law, and there are penalties and consequences for selling products that do not comply.


Ingredient lists and percentage labelling


Ingredients must be listed in descending order (by ingoing weight). This means that when the food was manufactured, the first ingredient listed contributed the largest amount and the last ingredient listed contributed the least. For example, if sugar is listed near the start of the list the product contains a greater proportion of this ingredient. Sometimes compound ingredients are used in a food. A compound ingredient is an ingredient made up of two or more ingredients



Nutrition information panels


Nutrition information panels provide information on the average amount of energy (in kilojoules or both in kilojoules and kilocalories), protein, fat, saturated fat, carbohydrate, sugars and sodium (a component of salt) in the food, as well as any other claim that requires nutrition information. For example, if a food had a ‘good source of fibre’ claim then the amount of fibre in the food must be shown in the nutrition information panel.

Here is another great informative article and info sheet


 (including Health Star Rating (HSR) system)



So so so much more


Food labels can provide a wide range of information to help consumers make food choices. Food labels also help to protect public health and safety by displaying information such as use by dates, ingredients, certain allergens, instructions for storage and preparation, and advisory and warning statements. FSANZ sets standards for what information must be on food labels.

Allergen labelling, Country of origin labelling, Fish names, Food additive labelling, GM food labelling, Health claims (nutrition, health and related claims), Ingredient lists and percentage labelling, Labelling Review, Labelling for religious, environmental, animal welfare and other consumer value issues, Labelling of alcoholic beverages, Labelling poster - how to read food labels, Nutrition information panels, Sugar labelling, Truth in labelling, weights and measures and legibility, Use by and best before dates, Warning and advisory statements


Here is some other useful documents also complining the above and more



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