The rules for the labelling of all foods sold or prepared for sale in Australia and New Zealand are set out in the Australia New Zealand Food Standards Code.
Food sold at fundraising events is exempt from most of these labelling requirements.
A fundraising event means an event that raises money solely for charitable or community causes and not for personal financial gain.
However despite these general exemptions, certain information must always be provided when relevant. Other information must be provided if the customer requests it.
There are ways that the required information must be provided, depending on the type of information and whether the food is packaged or not. In some cases the information must be provided on a label on the food. In other cases, it can be provided in connection with the display of the food, for example, on a sign, or it could be provided verbally upon request by the customer.
In addition, you may decide to voluntarily provide other information that could be useful to your customers, for example, an ingredient list and a best before date.
There may also be requirements under other legislation not regulated by FSANZ e.g. for the weight or volume of a packaged product to be marked on the label.
Fundraising event organisers should be aware that there may be New Zealand, state, territory or Commonwealth legislative requirements that need to be complied with in order to conduct the event.
For detailed information about which labelling requirements apply to foods sold at fundraising events, refer to Standard 1.2.1 - Application of Labelling and Other Information Requirements of the Australia New Zealand Food Standards Code.
Information that must be always provided
Some labelling information must always be provided, if relevant to the food. This includes:
- Directions for use and/or storage of the food, if required for health or safety reasons -Refer to Standard 1.2.6 - Directions for Use and Storage
- Country of origin information (in Australia only) (See the ACCC website for information)
- Genetically modified foods - Refer to Standard 1.5.2 - Food Produced Using Gene Technology
- Irradiated foods - Refer to Standard 1.5.3 - Irradiation of Food
- Royal jelly - Refer to Standard 1.2.3 - Mandatory Warning and Advisory Statements and Declarations .
- Certain fish, meat and meat products, and offal -Refer to Standard 2.2.1 - Meat and Meat Products, and Standard 2.2.3 - Fish and Fish Products
- Kava - Refer to Standard 2.6.3 - Kava
Information that must be provided if requested by the customer
There is also some basic information that you need to either provide if asked by the customer, or display with the food:
- Name of the food - Refer to Standard 1.2.2 - Food Identification Requirements
- Declaration of allergenic substances - Refer to Standard 1.2.3 - Mandatory Warning and Advisory Statements and Declarations
- Advisory statements - Refer to clause 2 of Standard 1.2.3 for further information
- Nutrition information panels - Refer to Standard 1.2.8 - Nutrition Information Requirements
Providing information voluntarily
Despite the exemption from a number of the labelling requirements, you may still decide to voluntarily label your food for fund raising events. In addition to the information that must be provided (as outlined above), you may also choose to provide additional information that would be useful to your customers, such as a list of ingredients, a contact name and address and a best-before date.
Further information on labelling requirements
The name of the food must either be displayed with the food or provided to the consumer if they request it. Refer to Standard 1.2.2 - Food Identification Requirement
Directions for use and/or storage of the food
The directions for use and/or storage of the food must be provided if required for health or safety reasons. An example is 'keep refrigerated at or below 4 º C'. This information must be included on the label of packaged foods, or accompanying unpackaged foods. Refer to Standard 1.2.6 - Directions for Use and Storage.
Contact details, ingredient list, expiry date
Declaration of allergenic substances
A declaration of the following substances is required if present in the food (as these may cause allergic reactions in some people):
- cereals containing gluten and their products (wheat, rye, barley, oats and spelt and their hybridised strains) (except in beer and spirits)
- crustacea and their products
- egg and egg products
- fish and fish products (except for isinglass derived from swim bladders and used as clarifying agent in beer and wine)
- lupins and lupin products
- milk and milk products
- peanuts and soybeans and their products
- tree nuts and sesame seeds and their products
- added sulphites in concentrations of 10 mg/kg or more.
The information listed above could either be provided if requested by the customer, or you could display this information with the food, for example, on a label on the food, or on a sign with the food. Refer to Standard 1.2.3 - Mandatory Warning and Advisory Statements and Declarations.
Nutrition information panels
A nutrition information panel (NIP) must be provided if a nutrition claim is made about the food. Standard 1.2.8 - Nutrition Information Requirements, defines nutrition claims, including claims such as 'low fat', 'gluten free' and 'high fibre'. Standard 1.2.8 also describes how the NIP must be set out and displayed, either with the food or provided to the customer if requested.