AUSVEG is backing Australian consumer advocacy group, CHOICE, which has launched an online petition calling on the Federal Government to reform Country of Origin Labelling (CoOL) laws to enable consumers to make informed decisions about the food they buy.

After yesterday welcoming Agriculture Minister Barnaby Joyce’s acknowledgment of the importance of Country of Origin Labelling following the Hepatitis health scare linked to imported frozen berries, AUSVEG is now supporting CHOICE’s strengthened calls for stronger labelling laws.

“AUSVEG was pleased to hear the Minister emphasise the importance of a strong Country of Origin Labelling system and now it is good to see groups like CHOICE calling for further action via their online petition,” said AUSVEG CEO Richard Mulcahy.

“Clearer Country of Origin Labelling laws will mean a fairer system for Australian shoppers, where they know where the food that they are buying and eating has come from.”

“If they hold particular concerns surrounding the origins of imported foods, they must be given the chance to shop around for alternatives.”

AUSVEG is the leading horticultural body representing more than 9,000 Australian vegetable and potato growers.

CHOICE is seeking 5000 participants via the online link to petition Agriculture Minister Barnaby Joyce to have the government act on CoOL.

CHOICE have noted on their website that a consumer survey conducted in 2014 surrounding Country of Origin showed that a staggering 85 per cent of respondents said it was crucial or very important for them to be able to identify if the food they buy has been grown in Australia.

“The massive ambiguity that exists with current labelling must be put to an end to give consumers a proper choice when it comes to purchasing food items,” said Mr Mulcahy.

“A plethora of consumer studies have shown that Australians want to buy Australian made, and we are calling for government and businesses to give them this opportunity.”

Earlier this week AUSVEG welcomed Agriculture Minister Barnaby Joyce’s comments acknowledging the importance of Country of Origin Labelling following the Hepatitis health scare linked to imported frozen berries.

In a media interview, 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.

AUSVEG encourages consumers to visit the CHOICE petition link and let the Australian government know how important Country of Origin Labelling is to them,



MEDIA CONTACT:  Andrew MacDonald, AUSVEG Manager – Communications

Phone: (03) 9882 0277, Mobile: 0406 836 330, Email: