'Don't be fooled': What Australian made logo on Coles bacon really means

Aussies claiming to be misled by an “Australian Made” logo on supermarket products may not have the whole story, with the symbol meaning something different to what customers actually think.

Coles customers slammed the supermarket giant on Facebook, claiming it had an Australian Made logo on its streaky bacon but the fine print stated less than 10 per cent Australian ingredients were used.

“Bought bacon from Coles Picton just this last weekend, said 100% Aussie made, got it home and while cooking found in very fine print ‘meat from Europe and America’ not happy Coles,” a customer said.

“We have wonderful farmers very capable of producing not only great pork products but almost everything fresh we need to survive, why are we ruining our country and environment by importing something we can farm ourselves?”

Pictured is a person holding a packet of Coles streaky bacon.
Coles customers were outraged the streaky bacon was made with less than 10 per cent of Australian ingredients. Source: Facebook

The latest comment comes after another customer criticised Coles for the logo on the same product last November.

“WTF!!!! Has anybody checked the fine print beside the Australian Made logo lately,” the customer wrote on Facebook.

“In this case it says Australian Made from less than 10% Australian ingredients. How is that Australian Made?

“Support our Aussie pig farmers and pork industry, and don’t be fooled by the Australian Made symbol.”

However, the label customers are slamming is not actually an Australian Made logo but a Country of Origin symbol, and supermarkets are required to put it on products to make it clear to customers where their food is sourced from.

The logo is different to the usual Australian Made logo as it has a bar underneath indicating the percentage of Aussie ingredients used in certain food products.

The Country of Origin label on the Coles streaky bacon is circled.
Customers have been confused by the Country of Origin logo on supermarket products. Source: Facebook

In 2016, the Australian Government incorporated the logo into their mandatory food labelling scheme.

“For a long time, the public has been calling for clearer and more transparent Country of Origin labelling on food products,” an AMCL report on the food labelling changes says.

“Many consumers are interested in not just where something was made or packed, but also how much of the food was grown in Australia.

“The purpose of the new Country of Origin food labelling scheme is to enable consumers to make more informed choices about the food they buy.”

ACML said fully imported foods and foods that had only been packed in Australia were easier to recognise with differing versions of the logo.

Pictured are the new Country of Origin Australian Made labels.
The new labels that became mandatory in 2018. Source: AMCL

Coles told Yahoo News Australia in a statement: “We know our customers place a high priority on purchasing great, locally produced food and groceries.”

“Coles takes its Country of Origin labelling responsibilities very seriously and is fully compliant with the new laws, which came into effect in July 2018.”

In response to a customer complaint about the streaky bacon last year, Coles said 85 per cent of its own brand products were sourced in Australia and when local supply didn’t meet demand, it was difficult to ensure low prices for shoppers.

“We do source some items from overseas when there is insufficient supply to keep prices low in Australia,” a Coles spokesperson said online.

An Australian Made Campaign spokesperson told Yahoo News Australia products that contained exclusively Australian content must be accompanied with the text statement “Made in Australia from Australian ingredients” or “Made in Australia from 100% Australian ingredients”.

“A Made in Australia standard mark can be used for products that contain: exclusively Australian content, no Australian content and a mix of Australian and imported content,” the spokesperson said.

“The Australian government is funding the ACCC to manage compliance of the new Country of Origin labels for food products.”

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