This week Australia’s Department of Industry and Science unveiled details of a proposed country-of-origin labeling (COOL) system that would include a bar graph indicating the proportion of Australian ingredients.
While Australia already requires the labels of imported food products to indicate their country of origin, the proposed rules include labels for products, such as processed meats, which are produced in Australia using imported ingredients. It is important to note, however, that labels for products in this category would not be mandatory under the proposal, which states, “Companies will be encouraged to provide information on the origin of significant ingredients where possible.”
Most U.S. pork exported to Australia goes directly to processing due to Australia’s import requirements. So it is primarily used as raw material in processed products that qualify for a label similar to the sample provided to the right:
If this label was made mandatory, compliance with this requirement could be complicated and costly. But as noted above, the label would be voluntary under the current proposal.
USMEF will continue to monitor this proceeding for any changes or updates, and more details are available from this webpage and this guidance document. If you have questions, please email Travis Arp or call 303-623-6328.