Is your frozen fish actually made in Australia?

A frozen fish manufacturer has changed its country of origin labelling on 31 frozen fish products from ‘made in Australia’ to ‘packed in Australia’ following concerns raised by the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC).

The frozen fish products were sold under the brand names Birds Eye, I&J, Neptune and one home brand product.

Following compliance checks across a range of frozen foods, the ACCC was concerned that the products displayed a ‘Made in Australia’ mark when the imported frozen fish may not have been substantially transformed in Australia.

Under the Australian Consumer Law’s Country of Origin labelling provisions, if a food product, such as fish, is packed in Australia without being substantially transformed, it cannot display a ‘Made in Australia’ mark.

The 31 products sold by frozen fish manufacturer Simplot used fish imported from a number of countries including New Zealand, United States and South Africa.

The ACCC’s view is that only minor manufacturing processes occur in Australia and, when viewed collectively, the imported ingredients do not differ fundamentally from the manufactured goods.

Simplot was of the view that slicing, crumbing and par-frying of the frozen fish constituted substantial transformation, justifying the use of the ‘Made in Australia’ mark. However, after the ACCC raised its concerns, Simplot agreed to change its country of origin labelling on these frozen fish products. 

“Processes that only change the form or appearance of imported ingredients or components no longer qualify as substantial transformation,” ACCC deputy chair Mick Keogh said.

“Country of origin labels are designed to inform consumers, some of whom may be willing to pay a premium for products they think are made in a particular country, especially Australia.

“Not only can incorrect labelling wrongly influence consumers into purchasing a certain product, it can also give a competitive advantage to those who use the ‘Made in Australia’ label in breach of the Australian Consumer Law,” Mr Keogh said.

All Simplot frozen fish products manufactured after 31 October 2020 will have the ‘Packed in Australia’ mark but products with the ‘Made in Australia’ mark may still be available in store until sold out.

Do you try to exclusively buy Australian when you shop? Why or why not? Are you in favour of country of origin labels?



Yes I always buy Aussie made owned and grown and if I am not sure I ring the company --

Made in Australia or packed in Australia mean just that -- they are imported and packed or made up here -- also NZ is allowed to import from God knows where and label it as an NZ product,  why I do not know.


Also if you go to a fish shop for cooked fish and chips the fish is more likely to be IMPORTED --same as the fish in a cafe

If you saw how these imported fish are farmed in-- (almost human sewer)   you would not feel happy eating it.

These new labels that came out a while ago sure tell you nothing of where the REST of the product came from --

Yes I want to know where products were grown made or packed AND WHO OWNS the company ==ie Chinese company or who


I have to agree with you here PlanB. But then I don't buy frozen fish in packets. It is not hard to buy a good piece of Australian fish and crumb it yourself if that's what you like.

And it is not just fish that is passed off as New Zealand product. New Zealand is used as a backdoor way into Australia by many product manufacturers. As with fish, they import the raw product, box it up and sell it as local produce.

Like a lot of things in Australia ( and other Countries) this issue is ALL about deception  for the Biggest Buck.labelling laws need policing better


"Do you try to exclusively buy Australian when you shop? Why or why not? Are you in favour of country of origin labels?"

No…I do not buy “exclusively Australian” .. I enjoy products from other countries and our economy thrives on foreign trade.

However…where fish is concerned, I will buy nothing from Vietnam or China, preferring to pay extra to get Australian seafood.

Yes.. “country of origin labels” are a must!

I dont care where my food comes from as long as it is top quality .What i do mind is the shonky manufacturing companies who push overpriced substandard food onto us .Food with little or no nutritional value .And there seems to never be punishment for it .So they accept a little criticism and continue as if nothing happened '

Some Birds Eye frozen vegetables are identified as packed in New Zealand BUT no indication of the source country as are a number Australian products stating Made in Australia from imported ingrediants OR less than 10% Australian ingrediants contains items from multipule countries, Buy canned goods from the E.U. with Coles OR Woolworths labels they have to comply with some E.U. STANDARDS Which lists the country of origin, in the E.U They also have state the drained weight, Our food labeling standards are just window dressing and our food standard laws are a joke, when the then PM John Howard was asked why our standard cannot be as high as the E.U. He replied  "to much label  information just confuses people"

Are you in favour of country of origin labels?

Yes, very much so.


Agree with 80 PLUS wholeheartedly, but this wasn't the ONLY Blue,Howard made to Australia's detriment was it? ( NOt starting a Political augument, just stating my view )

Agree British Bulldog. History will not be kind to said gentleman.

Much more should be done on food labelling, in fact on all product labelling. It should clearly identify the source of raw product and where it was processed and where it was packed.

Having visited Vietnam a couple of times, and I love the country and especially the people, I have seen the Mekong Delta and the fish farms there and would not but seafood from Vietnam in Australia. We have excellent local seafod here and it is expensive but well worth it. 

I try to by Australian made or grown but sometimes that is not always possible but then I try to buy Australian owned. People who shop on price alone could well be damaging Australia.

I like the '%' Australian content. For instance some bacon is listed a 10% Australian content whereas others, more expensive, are 'at least 98% Australian content'. Similar with other products. When there is a choice I always buy the highest percentage Australian content.

I was dismayed when I bought some bread products marked 'Baked in Australia' but on closer inspection found, in small print, 'Made in France'. Unfortunately this is one downfall of ordering groceries 'on-line'.

How about the State Governments,the Feds,having their drinkies on a Friday Night (Aussie wine I hope?) now that CHINA HAS PUT THE MOCKERS ON IT,everyone who gives a damn,about this Country,which again in my humble opinion has been betrayed by a succession of poor Governments,get altogether and do our damdest to get behind A BUY AUSTRALIAN CAMPAIGN?.Sure we need imports for a balance of trade with our neighbouring Countries,BUT LETS ALL BUY AUSSIE FIRST,wherever possible.YEAH!!

Does that mean no more British bangers and mash?


Good one Lucca ...Tasmanian Spuds and sausages from your local butcher.No worries!!


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