Better labels aim to stop confusion

NEW LABELS: Consumers will have a better understanding of where their products come from with the introduction of new labels.
NEW LABELS: Consumers will have a better understanding of where their products come from with the introduction of new labels. Valentyn Volkov

OVER the coming months consumers can expect to see kangaroos on supermarket products as part of Australia’s Country of Origin labelling laws.

The reforms came into play on Friday, giving businesses two years before the changes become mandatory.

The new labels, featuring the green and gold kangaroo inside a triangle, will indicate where the product is made, produced or grown.

And this isn’t just for tinned or packaged products, but fresh fruits and vegetables.

Lockyer Growers Association president Anthony Staatz said any advancement in packaging laws would benefit local growers.

“It will only benefit our industry if there’s clearer origin of produce on product labels,” Mr Staatz said.

“Products need to be clearer about percentages of Australian grown product in a finished product,” he said.

Mr Staatz said growers currently indicated on packaging where their product was from.

“The grower groups have been pushing to get clearer labelling,” he said.

The new system will include a bar chart on the product, indicating the proportion of Australian ingredients.

Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Agriculture and Water Resources Barnaby Joyce said the reforms were a big win for consumers.

“The new food labelling system will provide Australian consumers with the clarity they deserve, without imposing on overly onerous burden on businesses,” Mr Joyce said.

“Australian consumers should be able to trust that claims such as ‘made in’ and ‘product of’ are applied consistently, and the new system will ensure that’s the case,” he said.

Imported food will continue to show where it was grown, produced and made and where it was packed. The announcement comes after decades of of frustration from consumers.

Topics:  food labels

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