Consumers are being urged to have their say on the Government’s proposed Country of Origin Labelling reforms before the consultation period closes on 29th January.
A new reform agenda for country of origin food labelling issues were combined into the Consultation Regulation Impact Statement late last year.
According to the Minister of Industry, Innovation and Science Christopher Pyne, feedback and opinion received from consumers and businesses will ensure the reforms are based on the best information available.
“Since the consultation opened in December we have heard from food manufacturers, retailers, agricultural producers and consumers –but we welcome more feedback,” Pyne said.
In creating a clear and unambiguous country of origin labelling system, Minister for Agriculture and Water Resources Barnaby Joyce said he expected the reforms to hit the mark.
“We are looking to finally address an issue which has existed in the Australian food industry for a long time. That’s why it is important that everyone who is interested and has views on this is able to consider the proposals and to make a contribution,” Joyce said.
The consultation period also includes an opportunity to comment on a draft information standard that sets out the rules around food products and the proposed new labelling requirements.
Once the reforms have been finalised, a national campaign would be developed to inform Australians and businesses about changes to country of origin labelling for food.
Comprehensive user testing prior to release will ensure the tool is easy to use and effective. An accompanying style guide will outline the new labelling requirements and origin labels will be available in a range of formats to suit business needs.