Country of origin food labelling changes a step closer
Minister for Agriculture and Water Resources, Barnaby Joyce
Minister for Industry, Innovation and Science, Christopher Pyne
4 December 2015
New country of origin labelling for Australian food is a step closer today with calls for the community and businesses to have their say on the Government’s proposed reforms.
A Consultation Regulation Impact Statement has been released which outlines issues to consider in implementing the reform agenda.
The Minister for Industry, Innovation and Science, Christopher Pyne, said that significant progress had been made in meeting community expectations and that government was keen to talk to business about their role in delivering these improvements to consumers.
“We have come a long way in addressing an issue that many governments of both sides before us have failed to resolve. The next step is to gather the right information to ensure our final decision meets everyone’s needs,” Minister Pyne said.
A new label for food is proposed with the kangaroo in a triangle icon and a bar chart with accompanying text showing what proportion of ingredients are from Australia.
Minister for Agriculture and Water Resources, Barnaby Joyce, said the work was being undertaken jointly with state and territory governments, reflecting shared responsibility for Australia’s origin labelling system.
“We are determined to deliver a meaningful and clear country of origin labelling system for food and we are well on the way to making that happen,” Minister Joyce said.
“Concerns about country of origin labelling have been going on for too long. The changes we have flagged will finally address those concerns so that Australian shoppers can have confidence about the origins of the food that they buy.”
The consultation includes an opportunity to comment on a draft information standard that sets out the rules around food products and the proposed new labelling requirements.
Ministers said they also wanted to hear from businesses outside of the food sector as both food and non-food businesses would be interested in other proposed changes that would make using country of origin labelling much easier. Input from food importers, retailers, wholesalers, farmers and Australia’s trading partners was also encouraged.
Comments close on 29 January 2016.