Growers and wholesalers united on Country of Origin Labelling reform
The Central Markets Association of Australia (CMAA) has backed AUSVEG’s calls for meaningful reform to Australia’s Country of Origin Labelling system, as Federal Cabinet prepares to consider changes to Australia’s confusing and inadequate labelling system.
The move represents the joining of forces of growers, wholesalers and the independent retail sector, with the two organisations providing a unified front as part of the push for better labelling that tells Australians where their food comes from.
“We are extremely pleased to have the support of the Central Markets Association of Australia in our ‘Cool Change’ campaign to improve Australia’s Country of Origin Labelling system,” said AUSVEG CEO Richard Mulcahy.
“To have the primary Australian wholesale marketing and distribution hub for fresh fruit, vegetables and flowers weigh in on this issue signifies how important Country of Origin Labelling reform is to the entire industry.”
“Reforms to Australia’s Country of Origin Labelling system must include two key aspects – eliminating the misleading and ambiguous term ‘Made in’ from food labelling, and identifying the specific country of origin of key ingredients.”
“Reform is long overdue, and with the support of the Central Markets Association of Australia we can ensure strong, lasting improvements are made to the system.”
AUSVEG is the leading horticultural body representing Australia’s 9,000 vegetable and potato growers. The Central Markets Association of Australia (CMAA) is the peak body representing the authorities or owners of the 5 central wholesale markets around Australia. Collectively they provide an essential link in Australia’s fruit and vegetable supply chain, handling over 4 million tonnes of fresh fruit and vegetables each year, which represents a value of over $7 billion. CMAA members include Adelaide Produce Market, Brisbane Markets, Market City (in Western Australia), Melbourne Wholesale Fruit and Vegetable and Flower Market and Sydney Markets.
CMAA spokesperson Mr Angelo Demasi said that the move to support AUSVEG in its efforts is vital to ensure Australian growers are competing on a level playing field with international producers, and that consumers are given the information they need to make informed choices about the food they buy.
“Ensuring Australian consumers know where their food comes from is an issue of national importance, and we are pleased to stand behind AUSVEG in its campaign for Country of Origin Labelling reform,” said Mr Demasi.
“By rallying together for clearer laws, we can ensure the Government remains firm in its commitment to meaningful reform. The industry wants change and Australian consumers want change, and it is time for the Government to enact meaningful reforms that tell Australians where their food is coming from,” he said.
AUSVEG encourages all Australian consumers to provide input on the labelling changes by visiting www.industry.gov.au/cool and completing the survey, which closes on Friday 3 July, and by contacting their local MPs and Senators. The ‘Cool Change’ video can be viewed by clicking here.
MEDIA CONTACT: Andrew MacDonald, Manager – Communications, AUSVEG
Phone: (03) 9882 0277 Mobile: 0406 836 330 E-mail: email@example.com