"Australian consumers want to support Australian farmers and want to be able to identify food that has been grown in Australia, and to that end the Greens are introducing a bill that responds to the needs of Australian consumers and agriculturalists." Senator Christine Milne, leader of the Australian Greens, said today.
"The Accurate Country of Origin Labelling for Food bill will provide clear food-specific country of origin labelling so that customers will better understand where the produce they buy comes from.
"Polling consistently shows that Australians want clear and accurate labelling to help them identify and buy Australian-grown food."
"The problem is that our current food labelling laws are not clear and can give a false impression so that cheap imports can be put in a packet in Australia to the detriment of Australian farmers and still boast an 'Australian Made' label."
"So while something might have 'Made in Australia' on the label, this doesn't necessarily mean that the food it contains is Australian grown. Under current laws 'Made in Australia' or 'Australian Made' can legally be used when food has been transformed through the manufacturing process and 50% of those transformation costs were incurred in Australia."
"This is misleading the public and it gives imported foods an unfair advantage. Through processing, imported foods can trade on 'Australian Made' which gives the impression of locally grown content, and disadvantages genuine Australian food competing in the same market."
"We the Greens are calling for a clear labelling system so that consumers actually know what they are buying, and to ensure a fair and transparent market for local growers."
Please see attached pdf for more information.