Food and beverage

The Elephant in the Womb: FSANZ Calls for Submissions on Proposed Mandatory Pregnancy Warning Labels on Alcoholic Beverages

Food Standards Australia New Zealand (FSANZ) has recently called for submissions on proposed mandatory warning labels to inform consumers of the dangers of drinking alcohol while pregnant. Despite the Australian and New Zealand governments regularly issuing health warnings against consuming alcohol while pregnant, recent studies conducted by FSANZ have found that consumers do not recognise that drinking “small amounts” of alcohol is also dangerous to foetuses, and considerably increases the risk of Foetal Alcohol Spectrum …

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No More Sugar Coating: Government Orders Review of Nutrition Labelling for Added Sugars

They say you are what you eat…. But it’s doubtful that most Australians would be comfortable saying that they are the 10 (or more) teaspoons of sugar they consumed in their last can of soft drink.  However, we may well soon be confronted with these images given that labelling that displays this information pictorially is set to be considered by Food Standards Australia New Zealand (FSANZ) as part of a recently announced review of nutritional …

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Marketing warfare series – Part II: Comparative advertising

A strategy often used by competing brands is comparative advertising. With numerous cases brought in the Federal Court of Australia each year and the potential for considerable pecuniary penalties, businesses should approach this strategy with caution. What is comparative marketing? Comparative advertising is, as its name suggests, an advertisement that compares a product or service with the equivalent offering of a competitor. This is usually done to highlight limitations of the competing offering and demonstrate …

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New rules for imported foods into Australia

We’ve all come to love those delicious exotic delicacies in our fridge originating from around the world. But these imported foods are not always as harmless as they seem and can pose serious health risks such as the tropical fruit cassava and the Sardinian cheese, Casu Marzu. Two weeks ago, on 21 September 2018, the Imported Food Control Amendment Act 2018  (the Amendment Act) received royal assent.  The Amendment Act introduces various changes to the previously existing …

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Food Standards Code: Mandatory Warning Labelling Update

On 26 May 2018, products containing the legume Lupin became subject to mandatory allergen warning requirements under the Australia New Zealand Food Standards Code (the Code).  It’s inclusion is a timely reminder for businesses to ensure that their product labelling includes warnings required by the Code. Mandatory Warnings By operation of Standard 1.2.3 of the Code (the Standard), food manufacturers must label their products with a warning when a designated allergen may be present as an …

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Social Media Marketing and Advertising Update: The Rising Star of the ‘Micro Influencer’

Businesses are increasingly questioning the value of “celebrity” social media influencers and appear to be favouring partnerships with “micro influencers” as a more cost effective marketing strategy. A “micro influencer” is a social media user with between 1,000 to 90,000 followers who, like a traditional influencer, makes posts promoting products.  Their key advantages include use of products out of real loyalty to a brand (in some cases), smaller and more intimate followings and, as a result, the …

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Food and Grocery Code of Conduct Review

The Food and Grocery Code is the first prescribed voluntary code under the Competition and Consumer Act 2010 (Cth) regulating the conduct of supermarket retailers and wholesalers who have agreed to be bound by the code. A draft report released on 2 July details 14 draft recommendations made by the review. The key draft recommendations focus on expanding the scope of the code to ensure that all significant wholesalers and retailers are bound by the …

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Country of origin food labelling has commenced!

From 1 July 2018, it became mandatory for businesses to ensure that food offered for retail sale in Australia is labelled in accordance with the Country of Origin Food Labelling Information Standard (the Standard). The Standard is aimed at providing consumers with greater certainty for where food is made, produced and grown when making purchasing decisions. For more information on the requirements of the Standard, see our previous update here. To monitor compliance, the Australian …

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Eggcellent news for consumers! New national standard for free range eggs

Australian consumers increasingly choose to buy ‘free range’ eggs in support of animal welfare (despite paying higher prices). However the task of determining whether eggs are truly free range has become a rising concern for consumers. Only last year, a major egg producer in the Australian market was penalised $1 million AUD after contravening Australian Consumer Law (ACL) by falsely labelling their eggs as free range, when it was found that the sheds were overstocked …

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Country of origin labelling update

Businesses have until 1 July 2018 to ensure their labels that are affixed to food items comply with the Country of Origin Food Labelling Information Standard (the Standard) which commenced on 1 July 2016. The requirements under the Standard apply to food offered for retail in Australia (i.e. food sold in stores, markets, online or from a vending machine). The Standard does not apply to food sold to the public for immediate consumption (i.e by …

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