Leading vegetable industry body AUSVEG has today welcomed the news that state ministers have supported the Federal Government’s proposed changes to Country of Origin Labelling laws.

The final decision on country of origin policy reforms was made during the Legislative and Governance Forum on Consumer Affairs, which was held today. The long-awaited decision follows extensive consultation with industry and consumers on the Federal Government’s proposed country of origin labelling system.

“Today’s decision is an encouraging step forward in the challenge to implement a clear and robust country of origin labelling system for Australian consumers,” said AUSVEG CEO Richard Mulcahy. 

“After many years of campaigning for effective reforms that eliminate ambiguous and deceptive labelling terminology, AUSVEG is pleased that the state departments have maximised the opportunity to come together and support the Federal Government’s proposed reforms.”

“This will undoubtedly open the door for a country of origin labelling system that operates on a unified, federal platform that is enforced by the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission, which will make for stronger regulation of Australia’s food labelling systems.”

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

The Federal Government’s proposed reforms, which were announced on 21 July 2015, outlined that each label will indicate the proportion of Australian ingredients by weight, displayed in a statement and a bar graph that is easier for consumers to read. 

“Market research has shown that Australian consumers are desperate for a clearer indication of where the food they are buying comes from, as confusing statements such as ‘Made from local and imported ingredients’ left them none the wiser about a product’s real origin,” said Mr Mulcahy.

“Although the proposed system does not offer a complete solution to these issues, AUSVEG recognises that it is an encouraging step forward to provide consumers with more transparent, informative labelling on the foods they buy.”

“Today’s positive outcome has signified that both the state and federal departments recognise the importance of implementing a clear and unambiguous country of origin labelling system for Australian consumers, so they are left in no doubt of a product’s origin.”

“Australian consumers deserve the right to make informed purchasing decisions and AUSVEG will continue to campaign for effective reform that eliminates ambiguous and deceptive food labelling terminology.”


MEDIA CONTACT: Dimi Kyriakou, AUSVEG Senior Communications Officer/Editor
Phone: (03) 9882 0277, Mobile: 0488 124 626, Email: dimi.kyriakou@ausveg.com.au