Food Labelling and Advertising

The food label is one of the most important and direct means of communicating product information between buyers and sellers. It is one of the primary means by which consumers differentiate between individual foods and brands to make informed purchasing choices.

Labelling roles and responsibilities

Health Canada is responsible, under the Food and Drugs Act (FDA), for the establishment of policies and standards relating to the health, safety, and nutritional quality of food sold in Canada.

The Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) is responsible for the administration of food labelling policies related to misrepresentation and fraud in respect to food labelling, packaging and advertising (FDA), and the general agri-food and fish labelling provisions respecting grade, quality and composition specified in the Canada Agricultural Products Act (CAPA), the Meat Inspection Act (MIA) and the Fish Inspection Act (FIA). In addition, the CFIA has responsibility for the administration of the food-related provisions of the Consumer Packaging and Labelling Act (CPLA), including basic food label information, net quantity, metrication and bilingual labelling.

The CFIA is responsible for the enforcement of all of the above requirements.

What information is available?

Notice of Update

The Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA's) industry labelling tool is now available online. This tool improves industry’s access to food labelling information and includes a checklist to help guide users through the core requirements.

The information in this tool serves as a single point of reference for stakeholders and inspection staff and replaces resources such as the Guide to Food Labelling and Advertising, and the Labelling and Advertising Decisions web page.

Stakeholder feedback from a 2010 web questionnaire and 2013 online consultation on labelling modernization have been incorporated into the updated labelling tool.

The initiative to develop and implement an online labelling tool for industry is a part of CFIA's commitment to the Government of Canada's Budget 2012 announcement.


Consumer Labelling Factsheets

Additional information