AFGC is committed to ensuring that consumers are provided with high quality, safe and appropriately labelled products. This should be done through minimum effective regulation so that companies can continue to produce affordable products and be cost competitive.
AFGC has been a consistent proponent of a food regulatory system that facilitates the provision of accurate information about the nutritional content of food. This allows consumers to make more informed decisions about the products they choose for themselves and their families based on ingredients, nutrition, quality, convenience and value for money.
To this end, the industry provides consumers with nutrition information by way of product labels, thereby enabling them to make informed choices in a short amount of time. All food manufacturers in Australia are required by law to provide nutrition information panels on food products, including information on energy (kilojoule), protein, fat, carbohydrate, sugar and salt content. In addition, product labels need to carry a list of ingredients, a declaration of any major allergens and the percentage content of the key ingredient/s.
Front of Pack Labelling
The AFGC introduced the Daily Intake Guide (DIG) in 2006 to help consumers make easy, smart choices about the food they need to include in their diet and ultimately help consumers see the relationship between a serve of food and their daily requirements.
The Health Star Rating (HSR) labelling was introduced in June 2014 following consultation between government, industry and public health and consumer organisations. The AFGC contributed to its development and supports its ongoing management through participation on the Health Star Rating Advisory Committee. The HSR rating is currently in its introduction period and will be evaluated after 5 years, with a report provided to the Ministerial Forum in June 2019.
Australian food manufacturers take their responsibility in relation to allergen labelling very seriously. AFGC has worked closely with organisations such as Allergy & Anaphylaxis Australia and the Coeliac Society to provide meaningful information to help consumers manage their special dietary needs.
In 2005 AFGC helped establish the Allergen Bureau to assist industry in allergen identification and labelling issues. Click here for more information
Food Industry Guide to Allergen Management and Labelling
The Food Industry Guide to Allergen Management and Labelling provides guidance for industry in managing allergens and is relevant to those involved in the supply, handling, production and sale of foods.
The guide provides:
- An overview of the requirements outlined in the Australia New Zealand Food Standards Code regarding food allergens that require labelling
- An overview of the incidence and symptoms of food allergy and food intolerances and the substances in food that may provoke allergic reactions
- Guidance on the control and management of allergens in the manufacture of foods
- Information on testing for allergens
- Guidelines for declaring mandatory and voluntary allergen information for foods
- An outline of VITAL (Voluntary Incidental Trace Allergen Labelling)
Non-food grocery items
The labelling of non–food grocery items is regulated by a variety of legislation including:
- Competition and Consumer Act
- National Measurement Act
- State and Territory fair trading legislation