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Australian Made appears before Senate Committee on food labelling

09 May, 2014

The Australian Made Campaign has appeared before the House of Representatives Standing Committee on Agriculture and Industry to give evidence to the committee's inquiry into the country-of-origin labelling of food.

The Australian Made Campaign is the not-for-profit organisation that administers Australia's registered certification trade mark for country-of-origin, the green-and-gold Australian Made, Australian Grown (AMAG) kangaroo logo.
 
Australian Made Campaign Chief Executive, Ian Harrison, and Compliance and Policy Manager, Lisa Crowe made recommendations to the committee on how food labelling laws could be improved, to build greater consumer confidence in the labelling of Australian products and produce.
 
"Research clearly shows that consumers have a preference for food products that are made and grown in Australia," Harrison said.
 
"An effective country-of-origin labelling system, trusted and understood by consumers, will strengthen this important asset for Australia's food growers and processors.
 
"This will help combat the number of companies attempting to mislead consumers regarding their products' true country-of-origin," Harrison said.
 
The Australian Made Campaign has appeared before a number of Senate Committees on country-of-origin labelling in recent years.
 
"Today we again recommended that the regulations under Australian Consumer Law fall into line with the more stringent rules for using the Australian Made, Australian Grown logo, thereby eradicating some of the loopholes that currently exist," Harrison said.
 
"Food products with high levels of imported content which undergo simple processing in Australia cannot use the green-and-gold Australian Made logo, and neither should they be able to claim that they were manufactured here under Australian Consumer Law.
 
"Consistent food labelling laws would provide consumers with greater certainty in the choices they make at the checkout, and support growers and manufacturers of genuine Aussie products," Harrison said.
 
Other recommendations included clarification of the concept of 'substantial transformation', specification of processes which, by themselves, do not satisfy this test, and the disallowance of qualified claims for products which do not satisfy this test.
 
"We are thrilled that this inquiry is being conducted within the House of Representatives structure – the seat of government – because there is great potential for positive changes to be made," Harrison said.

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Chuck Solide | Monday, May 12, 2014, 11:46 AM
An overhaul of this labelling farce is way overdue. The nebulous "from local and imported ingredients" has done nothing apart from providing Food Companies a wall behind which they can hide, and a very convenient yet despicable method of "telling the truth", without actually "stating the facts." Quite often the only "Australian content" in the package is the packaging! It also beggars belief that the Trade Union movement, who can be highly vocal when they feel the need, haven't been raising a ruckus for years. Considering it's their members who tend to suffer from the farcical "weasel words" that are the Australian labelling regulations, one would have thought they would lobby long and loud for a more truthful arrangement. It must also be pointed out the "she'll be right mate" attitude of many Australians, is nothing more than Apathy with a different haircut ! Chuck Solide, Melbourne , Australia
ron | Monday, May 12, 2014, 2:12 PM
There should be very clear classifications: 1. Product of Australian- means grown & produced solely in Australia. NO foreign content even packaging. Nothing 2. Foreign raw materials manufactured/packaged in Australia - self explanatory. No more confusing categories. If a product fits these categories Stamp accordingly, otherwise NO stamps of any description.
Elizabeth Horton | Tuesday, May 13, 2014, 10:12 AM
There's another part to this overhaul. Australian family owned manufacturers, farmers and food processors are loosing shelf space to the multi nationals who's head office is in Australia. How does a customer know if the head office is owned by a multi national? The financial strength of these large companies are pricing Australian family businesses off the shelf. As well as knowing where ingredients are sourced Australian customers want to support legitimate Australian owned family businesses but current labelling laws only require head office details.