Proposed label changes fall short of revealing true country of origin
AUSVEG has welcomed some of the proposals revealed by the Federal Government today for reforms to Australia’s labelling laws but is concerned the package falls well short of a genuine Country of Origin Labelling system.
“The proposed introduction of a diagram indicating the level of Australian and imported ingredients on products manufactured here will mean the only originating country outlined will be Australia,” said AUSVEG Deputy CEO Andrew White.
“By not disclosing the countries of origin of key ingredients in products the Federal Government runs the risk of letting down the people of Australia, who want to know where the food they are eating has come from.”
“Only by telling them precisely where their food comes from can that be achieved.”
AUSVEG is the leading horticultural body representing Australia’s 9,000 vegetable and potato growers.
“While the measures unveiled today are a good first step on the road to a meaningful Country of Origin Labelling system, it is incumbent on the Government to go further and meet the demands of consumers, who have repeatedly indicated they want to know the origins of the food they are buying and eating, and that their food is safe.”
“The proposals outlined today fall short of a genuine Country of Origin Labelling system, and will leave consumers none-the-wiser about the origins of imported produce contained in food manufactured here.”
“While AUSVEG is disappointed that the countries of origin of key ingredients will not be outlined on labels, some of the measures contained in the Government’s proposal are welcome,” said Mr White.
“We are pleased to see the elimination of the confusing term ‘made from local and imported ingredients’ from labels, but are disappointed the term ‘made in’ has not been scrapped altogether.”
“A recent video released by AUSVEG revealed the depth of consumer confusion that exists around food labels, particularly in relation to the term ‘made in’.”
“This finding is further reinforced by consumer research previously carried out by CHOICE which found that only 12 per cent of Australians understood the meaning of the term ‘made in’.
“While the Government’s proposal is a step in the right direction, there is still a long way to go before Australian consumers have the clear Country of Origin Labelling System they so desire and deserve.”
MEDIA CONTACT: Andrew White, Deputy CEO, AUSVEG
Phone: (03) 9882 0277, Mobile: 0409 989 575, Email: firstname.lastname@example.org