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Australian Made rejects Greens’ Country of Origin reforms

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The Australian Made, Australian Grown Campaign will not back the 2013 Competition and Consumer Amendment (Australian Food Labelling Bill) proposed by the Greens Party to address country-of-origin labelling laws.

Australian Made Chief Executive Ian Harrison clarifies that Australian Made cannot support the Bill in its current form.

Key reasons include:

  • The Bill creates a separate and inconsistent set of country of origin labelling requirements for some food products (products partly or fully processed in Australia) as distinct from other food products (fully imported foods) and all other categories of product. Australian Made believes this will increase rather than reduce confusion for consumers as well as businesses, when labelling should be simple and consistent.
  • Australian Made does not see the value in banning the claims ‘Australian Made’ or ‘Made in Australia’ in favour of the exactly equivalent terms ‘Australian Manufactured’ or ‘Manufactured in Australia’.
  • The Bill does not appear to cover packaged food which is grown (as opposed to processed) in Australia.
  • Where products cannot meet the criteria for ‘Grown in Australia’, ‘Product of Australia’ or ‘Manufactured in Australia’, the Bill proposes only one allowable claim – ‘Packaged in Australia’. Australian Made believes that a wider range of alternative claims should be allowed for products such as pickles processed in Australia from imported vegetables.
  • Australian Made does not support the use of qualified claims such as ‘Made in Australia from imported and local ingredients’.
However, Australian Made supports the proposal in the Bill for food to be labelled in a way that highlights significant ingredients, e.g. ‘Manufactured in Australia from Australian milk’ for chocolate, as long as all the requirements for a ‘Made in Australia’ claim are met.

Australian Made also supports - and in fact originated - the proposal to draw up regulations to clarify the concept of ‘substantial transformation’ and to specify processes which, by themselves, do not satisfy this test.

The Australian Made, Australian Grown (AMAG) logo is the registered certification trademark that labels a product as authentically made or grown in Australia.

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