Why is labelling required

Why is labelling required on confectionery?

Standard 1.2.1 of the ANZ Food Standards Code outlines the requirement for packaged products (pre-bagged confectionery) to be labelled.

Where do the rules come from?

In New Zealand, we follow the ‘ANZ Food Standards Code’ that is prescribed by ‘Food Standards Australia New Zealand’ (FSANZ). The current version of ‘the Code’ commenced 1 March 2016.

The Ministry of Primary Industries (MPI) is responsible for enforcing these standards in New Zealand. MPI relies on private verification agencies and local Councils (Environmental Health Officers) to ensure the Code is being followed.

There is conflicting information being communicated by Council Environmental Health Officers in various regions around New Zealand. We believe this is because they are very busy people and have not received the training to fully understand the requirements of the Food Standards Code. However there is only one Food Standards Code. It is the same Code that all food businesses in New Zealand must comply with.

Here are links to Standards 1.1.2 & 1.2.1 which outline the requirements for labelling for product types.
https://www.legislation.gov.au/Details/F2017C00715
https://www.legislation.gov.au/Details/F2017C00718

Aspects of labelling legislation describing exemptions that could apply

1.1.2—2 Definitions—general

bear a label: a food for sale is taken to bear a label of a specified kind or with specified content if either of the following is part of or attached to the packaging of the food:
(a) a label of that kind or with that content;
(b) labels that together are of that kind or have that content.

1.2.1—6 When the food for sale must bear a label

(1) If the food for sale is in a package, it is required to *bear a label with the information referred to in subsection 1.2.1—8(1) unless it:
(a) is made and packaged on the premises from which it is sold; or
(b) is packaged in the presence of the purchaser; or
(c) is whole or cut fresh fruit and vegetables (other than seed sprouts or similar products) in a package that does not obscure the nature or quality of the food; or
(d) is delivered packaged, and ready for consumption, at the express order of the purchaser (other than when the food is sold from a vending machine); or
(e) is sold at a *fund raising event; or
(f) is displayed in an *assisted service display cabinet.

(4) If the food for sale is not in a package, it is not required to *bear a label.

Confirmation received from MPI regarding labelling interpretation

2 March 2018

“Thank you for your question regarding the labelling requirements for re-packaged bags of lollies in dairies. You are correct that if none of the exemptions listed in subsection 1.2.1-6(1) of the of Standard 1.2.1 of the Australia New Zealand Food Standards Code apply then the bags of lollies do need to ‘Bear a Label’, i.e. have the information required on or attached to the bag. The definition of ‘Label’ does include ‘displays of information in connection with the sale of food’ as you rightly point out, however the requirement is for products to ‘Bear a Label’ unless exempt.

In terms of the lollies repackaged into bags at the dairy, if the bags were made up in the presence of the purchaser (ie they were in a bulk container and scooped into the bag when the customer wanted them then they would meet exemption 1.2.1-6(1)(b). It may also be possible for the repacked lolly bags to meet exemption 1.2.1-6(1)(f) if sold from an assisted display cabinet.”

Summary

You do not need to label confectionery;

  1. If you sell loose confectionery. ie if unpackaged
  2. If you pack the confectionery in front of the customer
  3. If a customer asks you to pack up a bag of confectionery and they return later to collect them - the bag was an express order
  4. If customers pack their own confectionery from an open container

You do need to label confectionery if you pre-bag it. There is a comprehensive list of requirements for the label to be compliant. This is all taken care for you by the MyLabels website.