Australia's farmers and food manufacturers are under pressure. Australians want to support our farmers and workers by buying local products but our current country of origin labelling is too confusing. Consumer advocacy group CHOICE found that 90% of Australians are not clear on where their food comes from.1
It’s time to end that confusion with clear and simple labelling.
AUSTRALIANS WANT TO SUPPORT LOCAL FOOD AND JOBS
Australians overwhelmingly want to be able to identify Australian-grown food and food that has been locally manufactured2. More than half of us choose to buy Australian food over similar imported products3 – an important contributor to supporting local jobs.
THREE SIMPLE LABELLING TERMS
The Greens bill establishes the following labels for country of origin claims:
- ‘Product of’ or ‘Grown in’ – will be used to describe food that has been wholly grown and processed in a country.
- ‘Manufactured in’ – will replace ‘Made in’ for food that has been substantially transformed in a particular country. The term ‘made in’ will no longer be used as many people think that ‘made in’ refers to where the ingredients were grown.
- ‘Packaged in’ – will be used on food that has been highly processed but can’t claim to have either ingredients of significant processing in a particular country. Companies can still choose to highlight the source of significant ingredients if they wish.
Additionally, companies making the ‘Manufactured in’ and ‘Packaged in’ claims can label the origin of significant ingredients (for example ‘Manufactured in Australia from Australian milk’ on a chocolate bar) to give consumers more information.
The Greens will also provide a regulation that makes it clear what kinds of food processing does not qualify as manufacturing. This is important as manufacturing typically involves significant investment in local equipment and jobs, which is what Australians want to reward.
The Labor and Liberal Parties have had years to act on ending the confusion on country of origin labelling, and have failed. The National Party has said it will champion clearer laws but has failed to act.
The Katter Party wants to put a health warning label on all imported food. This is alarmist and could breach of Australian consumer law, which prohibits misleading claims.