The Australian Made Campaign today appeared before the Senate Rural and Regional Affairs Committee hearing into the Competition and Consumer Amendment (Australian Food Labelling Bill) 2012, to address country-of-origin labelling laws.
Australian Made acknowledged the shortcomings in the current labelling regime and welcomed the opportunity to stimulate discussion on the issue, but rejected the proposed Bill as providing an acceptable alternative to the system in place.
“The proposed Bill is a step in the right direction, but misses the mark on some very important issues, including substantial transformation, which is all about where products are made,” Australian Made Campaign Chief Executive, Ian Harrison, said.
“For consumers to be able to make educated decisions about the food they purchase, that information must be made available.”
At the hearing today Australian Made called for the definition of ‘substantial transformation’ to be restricted so that it is more difficult for products with high imported content and minimal processing to pass themselves off as Australian.
“At present, the rules for using the Australian Made, Australian Grown logo on food products are more stringent than the rules applied by the ACCC,” Mr Harrison said.
“We are calling on the Government to follow the Australian Made Campaign’s lead, to make it easier for consumers to identify genuine Aussie products and to build greater consumer confidence back into Australia’s food labelling system.”
The Australian Made, Australian Grown (AMAG) logo is the registered certification trade mark that labels a product as authentically made or grown in Australia.