Australia’s Product Information Form is turning 20 – and it’s definitely realising its full potential. Our world-leading innovation started out as a humble form and is now a fully-fledged online form, ready to future-proof your business.

There are several ways in which the online PIF V6 is future-proofed, and can protect your business from fall-out from the rapid changes in consumer and regulatory responses.

It’s unlikely to be news to anyone reading this that heightened concerns about food production and sustainability mean that consumer demand for product information is on the rise. And we’ve seen a raft of regulatory changes to meet this demand.

PIF V6 includes 25 per cent more information than previous versions, so it covers all information required to assure regulatory compliance with the Australia New Zealand Food Standards Code (FSC), Country of Origin Labelling (CoOL) requirements and the Health Star Rating (HSR) front-of-pack nutrition labelling – and much more, such as possible future requirements like sugar content.

With the recent release of PIF V6.1, it now covers the changes for allergen labelling required by the Plain English Allergen Labelling (PEAL) amendments to the Australia New Zealand Food Standards Code.

As Dr Geoffrey Annison, Deputy Chief Executive Officer & Director, Health, Scientific and Regulatory Affairs at the AFGC writes in the current issue of Food Australia, PIF V6 provides state-of-the art functionality, and is specifically designed to safeguard individual PIFs and the data they contain. The upgradable and expandable online portal system is the foundation of the future-proofing of the PIF system.

Find out how PIF V6 can get your business ahead here.

The backstory: Aussie ingenuity

PIF V1 was a Microsoft Word document, conceived as a hands-on tool for R&D and scientific and regulatory affairs staff to manage and share product information across the entire supply chain. It was a world first, inspired by collaboration among a group of professionals keen to improve their industry, as well as the productivity of their own organisations.

This spirit of consultation and collaboration persisted, and the PIF was progressively updated in line with industry and regulatory changes. By 2012 it was the complex interactive Excel spreadsheet, and data security and interoperability challenges were becoming increasingly pressing. The time was ripe for another major innovation.

The Australian Good & Grocery Council (AFGC), in partnership with industry experts, launched the online PIF V6 in 2017, clearing the way for the industry to leave behind manual data entry and endless spreadsheets – and establishing an efficient and accessible system founded on data integrity and security of data transmission. PIF V6.1, released in 2022, brings even more improvements. A quantum leap forward for the food industry!