News

Australian Made or Made in Australia

MORE than 95 per cent of consumers do not know that when they buy food marked 'Australian Made', they could be buying food that has been grown overseas, according to a policy officer for Queensland's biggest horticultural group.

Australia's food labelling laws have again come under fire in a submission to an ongoing Senate Committee inquiry into the nation's food processing sector.

The submission, by Queensland vegetable and fruit growing group Growcom, said that as long as an imported food was 'substantially transformed' on Australian shores, with re-packing costs exceeding 50 per cent of the total product cost, it could be labelled Australian Made.

Growcom policy advisor Troy Reeves said there was a "sleight of hand situation" in food labelling in Australia, where manufacturing companies calling repacked overseas foods Australian made - a term he says consumers often assume means the food was produced in Australia.

"Australia has the highest national minimum wage, so the processors and manufacturers don't need to do much to incur 50 per cent of their product costs by simply re-canning or packaging foods, and then they can label the product Australian Made.

"One of the problems we face is that some people take our concerns to be that we're xenophobic, which we're not.

"But we do think that labelling a product that has been grown and largely produced overseas Australian is misleading.

"We're not against foreign imports, but we do think Australian consumers should know the truth and be able to make the decision themselves."

In addition to the current Select Committee inquiry, last year an independent review by former Health Minister Neal Blewett of the nation's food labelling laws was completed, recommending many changes to the current system.

While the Blewett Report recommended a new framework for food labelling be created for country or origin claims, the government responded saying it did not support the recommendation.

The government's response said the Australian Made or Made in Australia claims gave recognition to the nation's manufacturing sector.

But the response did say that it would recommend the nation's consumer protection agency to review the Country of Origin labelling materials, and develop an education program to clarify the terms "if appropriate".

An update on government action since the Blewett Review was requested yesterday from the lead agency, the Department of Health and Ageing, but no response was received by deadline.

Topics:  growcom



Surfer's shark tale: 'That's when it's come straight at me'

Pictured at Kingscliff this morning Rodney Clark has survived a Great White encounter.

"I lost sight of my son because a wave hit him"

Sleeping rough for Fred's Place

ALL RUGGED UP: From left, Lenny McLennan, Jason McDonald, Gerard Robinson, Gordon Rhodes and Stuart Burrows prepare for Fred's Place Sleep Out.

Tweed locals show support for homeless by sleeping outside in boxes.

Latest deals and offers

Thy Art Is Murder are killing it

See Thy Art is Murder on their killer tour happening right now. Photo Contributed

We talk with Thy Art is Murder about touring, babies, and new music

Date announced for Prince tribute concert

A Prince tribute concert will take place later this year

Matt Damon is taking a break from acting

Matt Damon is taking a break to spend time with his family

Police foiled terrifying 1m plot to kidnap Katie Price

Police foiled a £1 million plot to kidnap Katie Price and her family

Kristen Bell's baby confession

Kristen Bell once pretended to be asleep when her baby woke up early

Babylon 5's Jerry Doyle has died

Jerry Doyle has died from unknown causes at the age of 60

You can own this Queensland town for just $1

Yelarbon

Unprecedented auction of town's business centre with no reserve

Work starts on $15M Caloundra apartment building

Turning the first sod at the Aqua View Apartments site in Kings Beach are (from left) husband-and-wife developers Alex Yuan and Stella Sun with construction company Tomkins director Mike Tomkins and Councillor Tim Dwyer.

Developers excited about addition to Kings Beach skyline

Plans revealed for 1500-lot 'master-planned community'

Precinct will be bounded by Boundary St and Shoesmith Rd

Ecco Ripley sales run sparks prime release

MOVING IN: Sekisui House has announced the release of more residential blocks at Ecco Ripley.

Sekisui House is preparing to unveil more land at Ecco Ripley

Massive residential 9-storey high-rise hit by delays

An artist’s impression of the eight-storey-high apartment complex that Bernoth Holdings wants to build in South Toowoomba, next to the City Golf Club.

Developer struggles to get approved high-rise development started