The House of Representatives Agriculture and Industry Committee has announced that it will be conducting an inquiry into country-of-origin labelling for food, a move that has been welcomed by the Australian Made Campaign.
Chief executive of the Australian Made Campaign, Ian Harrison said that the inquiry was ‘very important’ for the Australian food manufacturing sector, and that he was ‘thrilled’ that it will be conducted within the House of Representatives structure.
“The Australian Made Campaign has submitted comment to and appeared before a number of Senate Committees on country-of-origin labelling in recent years and certainly will again with this inquiry,” said Harrison.
“Our intention is that the food labelling requirements under Australian Consumer Law will fall into line with the more stringent rules for using the Australian Made, Australian Grown logo. This would be well received by consumers because of the recognition and trust the logo enjoys.”
A number of Australian manufacturers including SPC Ardmona, have been significantly impacted by ambiguous country of origin labelling legislation, resulting in decreased market share and profitability.
“The Australian Made Campaign does not support the use of qualified claims such as ‘Made in Australia from imported and local ingredients’ unless the product meets the full ‘made in’ test, and has previously proposed that regulations be introduced to make it harder for food products which have a high imported component to pass the ‘substantial transformation’ test,” said Harrison.
“Clarifying the concept of ‘substantial transformation’ and specifying processes which, by themselves, do not satisfy this test, would close some of the existing loopholes surrounding the use of the words ‘Australian Made’ for food products.”