The Australian Made Campaign has welcomed the announcement that the House of Representatives Agriculture and Industry Committee is conducting an inquiry into country-of-origin labelling for food this year.
“The announcement of this inquiry into country-of-origin food labelling is very important and we are thrilled it will be conducted within the House of Representatives structure, the seat of Government,” Australian Made Campaign Chief Executive, Ian Harrison, said.
Mr Harrison said the fact that it was referred by such senior Ministers as Barnaby Joyce (Agriculture) and Ian MacFarlane (Industry) added considerably to that weight.
“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,” Mr Harrison said.
“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.”
The Australian Made, Australian Grown logo is the registered certification trade mark that labels a product as authentically made or grown in Australia.
“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,” Mr Harrison said.
“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.”