Australian Made calls for stronger government support

The Australian Made campaign is calling on the government to throw its weight behind the manufacturing industry by supporting stronger country of origin labelling requirements.

"The Australian brand is one of the most powerful assets available to our businesses in global markets, but unfortunately the value of this seems to have been consistently underestimated in government and bureaucratic circles for many years," Australian Made Campaign chief ececutive, Ian Harrison, said.

The iconic green and gold kangaroo logo has been used by thousands of businesses for nearly three decades  to identify genuine Australian products and produce in Australia and overseas.

"In an environment where increased costs and a high $AUD have seriously undermined the competitiveness of many Australian products, country of origin is an asset we should be driving much, much harder," Harrison said.

Harrison is calling for a strategic partnership between the government and the Australian Made campaign, including a plan to reduce consumer confusion surrounding country of origin labelling.

"It’s important that we rebuild confidence in the system and add marketing value to the manufacturing, growing and processing of products in this country.

"We are lobbying the government to work together with us on this," he said.

Earlier this year, the Greens proposed a new country of origin labelling system which focuses purely on food ingredients, but this was slammed by both Australian Made and the Australian Food and Grocery Council, which argued that the proposal fails to provide clear information on where the value-adding process takes place on processed foods.

Consumer group, Choice also suggested a shake-up to country of origin labelling, proposing a simplified system comprising three key claims: Product of Australia, Manufactured in Australia; and Packaged in Australia.

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