FOOD Standards Australia New Zealand (FSANZ) conducted a cost-benefit analysis of the proposed extension of country-of-origin (COO) labelling requirements.
The study concluded it would cost Australians $120 million each year to extend COO labelling to canned or packaged food with two or less principal whole fruit or vegetable products.
However, the study reported that only 10% of consumers would appreciate the extra information.
“This benefit to consumers would be outweighed by the costs to industry, which would harm the competitiveness of affected Australian-made goods in domestic and global markets,” said Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister for Health and Ageing, Christopher Pyne. As a result, Pyne said the Government would not support the extension of COO labelling.
Australian Food & Grocery Council CEODick Wells told FOOD Magazine, “The difficulty is consumers say one thing and they’ll do another.
“They say they will give a preference to Australian-origin food but buying practice doesn’t bare that out.
“The concern was we were going to continue to put additional costs back into the food supply chain without any capacity to get an increased price at the retail end.
“So all it would do is raise the cost of processors and ultimately growers.”