AUSVEG adds voice to Greens push for Country of Origin Labelling
AUSVEG has added its support to the Australian Greens’ Leader Christine Milne’s push for clearer Country of Origin Labelling on food, claiming the current system needs refining if consumers are to get the information they need to support Australian farmers.
AUSVEG has welcomed the Greens’ announcement that they will re-introduce legislation for mandatory Country of Origin Labelling.
“Australian vegetable growers face a highly competitive domestic market where misleading labels on cheap imports can undercut their ability to compete on fair terms,” said AUSVEG spokesperson Andrew White.
“By prohibiting confusing terms such as ‘made from local and imported ingredients’, this legislation will help to give Australian consumers the information they need to act on their proven preference to buy Australian.”
“The Australian vegetable industry produces some of the freshest, cleanest and tastiest vegetables in the world, and consumers want to buy those vegetables. We welcome this action against manipulative labelling which keeps consumers guessing about where their food is actually coming from.”
AUSVEG is the leading horticultural body representing Australia’s 9,000 vegetable and potato growers.
A recent House of Representatives committee report on Country of Origin Labelling recommended changes to the current labelling system. Among other thresholds, the committee proposed a system which would result in the term ‘made in Australia from mostly local ingredients’ used for products with more than 50 per cent Australian content.
“The proposals listed on the Committee’s report did not go far enough to simplify labelling, and did not set reasonable thresholds for Australian content. We have always campaigned for the elimination of the ‘made in’ phrase and for clearer and more obvious visual descriptors on products,” said Mr White.
The Greens’ bill 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.
“A system which highlights both the country of origin of ingredients and the country where they were processed would deliver the best quality information to allow Australian consumers to make informed purchases.”
“We welcome any positive changes to Country of Origin Labelling legislation but it needs to be done properly. We are always happy to consult with any party to ensure that such reform reflects the best interests of consumers and provides a fair go for Australian vegetable growers.”
MEDIA CONTACT: Andrew White, AUSVEG Deputy CEO
Phone: (03) 9882 0277, Mobile: 0409 989 575, Email: firstname.lastname@example.org