The Australian Made Campaign has welcomed government moves to establish an inquiry into country-of-origin labelling for food.
The inquiry, to be conducted by the House of Representatives Agriculture and Industry Committee, is expected to be held later this year.
“The announcement of this inquiry into country-of-origin food labelling is very important, said Australian Made Campaign Chief Executive, Ian Harrison. “We are thrilled it will be conducted within the House of Representatives structure, the seat of Government.”
Minister for Agriculture, Barnaby Joyce and Minister for Industry Ian MacFarlane are the driving forces behind the inquiry.
Mr Harrison said the Australian Made Campaign would lodge a submission with the inquiry and would apply to appear.
“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, Mr Harrison said. “This would be well received by consumers because of the recognition and trust the logo enjoys.”
The Australian Made, Australian Grown (AMAG) logo is the registered certification trademark 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,” Mr Harrison said.
AMAG 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.
“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.”