The new Country of Origin Food Labelling

It’s one year on from the frozen berry crisis, which brought to life the health, safety and quality concerns that can arise when companies source ingredients from international markets unbeknownst to Australian consumers. While Australia already has mandatory Country Of Origin Labelling requirements in place, market research shows that consumers find the current system confusing and unclear. Now a new Country Of Origin food Label (COOL) is being introduced by the Federal Government, which evaluates products both on country of manufacture and proportion of local ingredients. Consumers will be able to see how much of their product is not only made, but sourced in Australia. To date, consumers have no way of knowing where products are “truly” from in order to make informed choices as the recognisable Made in Australia logo relates solely to manufacture.

One Australian owned company is the first supplier to be using this new form of labelling – the company was using them even prior to the recent developments of the Federal Government enforcing the new labels. Monster Health Food Co. or MHFC have been known to pioneer in the field of labelling. It was the first company to produce their products with the Health Star Rating and now with COOL they are the first again. What drives this company to want to label their products as friendly as possible for the Australian consumers? The drive comes from wanting to inform and guide the Australian consumers better and leading the way for other Australian companies to join this informative movement.

According to Trevor Lauman, co-owner at MHFC the combination of the Health Star Rating and COOL gives a product an improvement pathway for not only Australian food manufactures but also Australian farmers. The reason behind this is because manufactures search for ingredients that will boost the HSR and if Australian farmers can produces those ingredients meaning that there is then a double benefit of a higher HSR and a greater % Australian content. The Australian consumer has the right to know how much of their purchased products are sourced and grown in Australia and MHFC think the consumer deserves to know exactly where the product is coming from. It shouldn’t be a discussion it should be a fact and from the experience MHFCO has had up until now with both the (new) labels, the Australian consumer appreciates the transparency and additional knowledge that is given on each package.

A product that ticks all the COOL boxes is marked with the familiar green and gold kangaroo to identify the origin of the product as Australian, a statement will highlight where the product is made, produced and grown. It is highly likely this logo will supersede the Australian made one and has been a talking point for the past 21 months.