Preserving Anzac Traditions

April 24, 2019

Businesses who market our iconic ANZAC biscuit, which was “invented”  by soldiers wives 100 years ago, face hefty fines if they change the recipe.   

The Department of Veterans Affairs warned that if bakeries and small businesses tamper with the classic biscuit and its name they could be fined up to $51,000, while individual sellers are looking at a $10,000 fine.

For those unfamiliar with the recipe it is made with a combination of coconut, rolled oats and golden syrup and while there can be some substitution of ingredients for people who are gluten or lactose intolerant, it can’t have any new ingredients.

“Definitely no addition of new ingredients that alter the traditional biscuit and its taste such as egg, chocolate chips or almonds,” a Veterans’ Affairs spokesperson said, while also emphasising that “the biscuits must be called ‘Anzac biscuits’ not ‘Anzac cookies’ or any other term”.

One of the earliest recipes for Anzac biscuits includes rolled oats, flour, golden syrup and sugar with later version adding coconut.

Anzac biscuits have long been associated with the Australian and New Zealand Army Corps (ANZAC) established in World War I.

They were made by soldiers’ wives and were popular because the ingredients kept well during naval transportation.

A permit must be issued from Veterans’ Affairs to sell products using the word “Anzac”.

“Permits for Anzac biscuits are generally quickly approved as long as other regulations are met,” the DVA spokesperson said.

Gelato Messina was asked by Veterans’ Affairs to change the name of its “Anzac Bikkie” Gelato to “Anzac Biscuit”, a spokeswoman for the national dessert chain told Seven News.

Seven News reported that the warning comes as part of a wider crackdown by the federal government and RSL on businesses exploiting the Anzac spirit for commercial gain.

There are clear  instructions as to when the word “Anzac” cannot be used.

The Protection of Word ‘Anzac’ Regulations 1921 (Cth) states  that: “no person may use the word ‘Anzac’, or any word resembling it, in connection with any trade, business, calling or profession or in connection with any entertainment or any lottery or art union or as the name or part of a name of any private residence, boat, vehicle of charitable or other institution, or other institution, or any building without the authority of the Minister for Veterans’ Affairs.”

Generally, the use of the word ‘Anzac’ is approved in the name of businesses situated on a road, street, avenue or highway that includes the word ‘Anzac’, provided that the full name of that address is included, such as ‘Anzac Avenue Fruit Mart’.

In such cases it is considered that the public would normally associate the name with its location rather than its traditional sense/meaning.

Applications for Anzac biscuits are normally approved provided the product generally conforms to the traditional recipe and shape, and are referred to as ‘Anzac Biscuits’ or ‘Anzac Slice’.

Calling them ‘Anzac Cookies’ fails then test  due to the non-Australian overtones.

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