Thursday, June 20, 2024

Agreement on reform to country of origin labelling

A meeting of consumer affairs ministers from federal, state and territory governments has produced an agreement to implement new country-of-origin labelling laws.

Under the new laws, many foods found on Australian retail shelves will be required to include a kangaroo-in-a-triangle logo to indicate the food is made, produced or grown in Australia. The new system will also include a bar chart indicating the proportion of Australian ingredients in a product.

“Australian consumers should be able to trust that claims such as ‘Made in’ and ‘Product of’ are applied consistently – and the new system will ensure that’s the case,” Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Agriculture and Water Resources Barnaby Joyce said.

Australian Greens spokesperson for agriculture Senator Rachel Siewert says the measures are a positive step but don’t deliver fully for farmers or consumers.

“Consumers want to know three simple things: where their food is grown, manufactured and packaged,” she said. “The labels revealed today are a step in the right direction but would not give consumers as much information as the approach recommended by the Greens.”

The reforms will be introduced from July 1, with labels expected to appear in retail outlets later this year.

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