AUSVEG has welcomed comments from Federal Minister for Agriculture, the Hon. Barnaby Joyce MP acknowledging the importance of Country of Origin Labelling following the Hepatitis health scare linked to imported frozen berries.

In a media intrview, Minister Joyce remarked that the incident in which the recalled product had gone through “a myriad of countries” before arriving in Australia, demonstrated why genuine Australian product was so well regarded.

Minister Joyce pointed to the clean, green, healthy and safe reputation of Australian produce and also acknowledged the importance of Country of Origin Labelling in relation to the matter.

“AUSVEG welcomes the concern shown by the Minister with regard to this matter, and was particularly pleased to hear his acknowledgement of the importance of Country of Origin Labelling,” said AUSVEG Deputy CEO, Andrew White.

“We know Minister Joyce has a long held view regarding the importance of strong Country of Origin Labelling laws which provide consumers with greater clarity about the products they are buying, at the same time as supporting local growers and producers. It is heartening to hear him voice this view at this time.”

“In the wake of this health scare surrounding frozen berries from China, it is now more important than ever to ensure that Country of Origin Labelling laws provide consumers with the clarity they need to determine precisely where the food they are purchasing comes from, as well as exercise their well-documented preference to purchase Australian produce wherever possible.”

AUSVEG has long raised concerns about Country of Origin Labelling laws within Australia and has recently publicly supported the Australian Greens’ reintroduction of legislation for stronger Country of Origin Labelling laws.

“The legislation could potentially result in the scrapping of terms such as ‘made from local and imported ingredients’, which AUSVEG has long argued is deeply confusing for consumers given it provides no real information about where ingredients are being sourced,” said Mr White.

“AUSVEG has also long-supported a provision contained in the bill which would replace the term ‘made in’ with ‘manufactured in’, to avoid consumers making the mistake of believing ‘made in’ referred to where ingredients were grown, instead of where they were processed.”

“In the wake of this serious health scare involving imported foreign product, AUSVEG will continue working hard to ensure we get the Country of Origin Labelling laws we need to ensure Australian growers are operating on a level playing field, and that consumers are given the information they need to buy Australian produce wherever possible.”


MEDIA CONTACT:  Andrew White, AUSVEG, Deputy CEO

Phone: (03) 9882 0277, Mobile: 0409 989 575, Email: