Secret supermarket code solves food country of origin mystery

Aldi may be a favourite supermarket among older Australians. It is, after all, Australia’s cheapest supermarket for big brands and ideal for savvy supermarket shoppers and pensioners on a budget.

And yet one criticism often voiced by Aldi shoppers is the mystery around the country of origin for many products sold in the German-born outlets.

An Aldi customer has recently discovered a little-known detail on the back of Aldi packages that may reveal the country of origin of Aldi seafood products.

The secret code was revealed on Facebook by a shopper named ‘Ahlam’.

“I know seafood gets a bad call out,” posted Ahlam on the Aldi Mums Facebook page.

“I just wanted to share something with you all that I learnt and hopefully it will solve all the ‘do you know where your fish comes from’ dramas.”

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Each Aldi seafood buy includes an ‘FAO Catchment Area’ code which identifies the region from which a product was sourced.

“Each box has a code for the fish area/catchment area caught. You can then look it up to know which areas your fish has come from and what practices they use,” posted Ahlam.

“Here you can see FAO 81. Hope this helps everyone in the future.”

Credit: Aldi Mums/Facebook

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All products sold in Australia are required to provide country of origin details on the pack.

The FAO catchment information provides even more specific information about where seafood items have been sourced. It seems this product came from New Zealand but may have been caught anywhere along the designated portion of the east coast of Australia.


The news has been welcomed by Australians keen to buy Australian made and support locally made and farmed produce.

“From what I’ve read, Aldi is making great progress to be sustainable, responsible and accountable,” posted Ahlam.

“Personally, I don’t buy non-Australian and was pleasantly surprised to see this info.”

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While the code has been labelled a ‘secret’ by many shoppers, Aldi told 7News it’s a program to help shoppers easily identify the origin of seafood products and “part of Aldi’s wider commitment to ensure all Aldi own-brand fish and seafood will be responsibly sourced by the end of 2020.”

Were you aware of this secret code? Are you an Aldi regular? Do you know any other tricks for identifying country of origin on supermarket products? Why not share your shopping tips with our members in the comments section below?

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