Country of Origin Labelling

In Canada, there are mandatory requirements for certain food products to indicate the country of origin on their labels. Companies may also make origin claims to highlight the origins of a product or ingredient in a product.

Country of origin labelling does not provide information on the safety of a food product. All food products sold in Canada, whether produced in Canada or abroad, must meet the same food safety standards.

Mandatory labelling

All prepackaged food products sold in Canada are required to be labelled with the identity and principal place of business of the company responsible for the product, such as the importer or manufacturer.

When a food product is wholly manufactured outside of Canada, the label must show that the product is imported. This information can be provided in one of three ways:

  • the identity and principal place of business of the foreign manufacturer, or
  • the statement "imported for" or "imported by" followed by the identity and principal place of business of the Canadian company;
  • the identity and principal place of business of the Canadian company with the country of origin of the product.

For more information, refer to Identity and Principal Place of Business. In addition, it is mandatory to state the country of origin on some specific imported prepackaged products. The links below provide more information on the requirements for each food:

Generally, for the above foods, the words "Product of [Name the country of origin]" must appear on the label. For example, prepackaged cheese from the United States imported into Canada is required to be labelled "Product of United States."

It is important to note that products destined for export markets must be labelled in the manner required by the importing country.