Ministers confirm progress on Front-of pack, Caffeine regulation, and Country of Origin labelling

  • December 10, 2012
  • Kate Carey

A range of food agenda items were discussed on December 7, 2012 when Australian and New Zealand food Ministers met to give the nod of approval to the Health Claims Standard, which Australian Food News has reported separately.

Food Ministers noted good progress made on the development of an Australian interpretive front-of-pack labelling system for food that would be easily understood by consumers.  This initiative was a key priority arising from the Legislative and Governance Forum on Food Regulation Forum’s response to the food labelling report, led by Dr Neal Blewett.

The collaborative process with key stakeholders will continue in order to develop the system by mid June 2013. Although not yet agreed on what type of front-of-pack labelling will be implemented, it is agreed that it is an important project that aims to “help consumers to make more informed food choices.”


Consultation on addition of caffeine to foods

The ministers also noted progress on the review of the Policy Guideline on the Addition of Caffeine to Foods that is underway. Public consultation on the Policy Guideline is expected to commence in March 2013.

Country of Origin labels for unpackaged meat

The ministers agreed to an Australian standard on country of origin labelling to include all unpackaged meat products. Implementation documentation should clarify that a business can comply with the requirement by displaying a single sign for Australian product with imported product specifically labelled.

Low THC Hemp

The ministers have sought a review on the proposed standard for low THC hemp as a food. Ministers have agreed to seek advice from the Standing Council on Police and Emergency Services.



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One Response to “Ministers confirm progress on Front-of pack, Caffeine regulation, and Country of Origin labelling”

  1. Sue on December 11th, 2012 8:36 am

    Country of Origin labelling on unpackaged meat is an initiative to make it look like the Blewett Review resulted in something. Most meat in Australia is sourced from Australia anyway – except for pork so this is simply and extension of the existing “product of Australia” label. Fish and poultry have already been dealt with under the current rules. It still does not cover the issue of processed foods which can claim to be “made in Australia” without any reference to which country the main ingredients come from if “packaged in Australia” but made “from imported and local ingredients”.

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