GROWERS, wholesalers and independent retailers are joining forces to call for meaningful reform of Australia’s country of origin labelling (CoOL) system.
The Central Markets Association of Australia (CMAA) has backed Ausveg’s call for the federal government to make changes to Australia’s confusing and inadequate labelling system.
The unified front is part of the ongoing push for better labelling that tells Australian consumers where their food comes from.
“We are extremely pleased to have the support of the Central Markets Association of Australia in our ‘Cool Change’ campaign to improve Australia’s country of origin labelling system,” said Ausveg CEO Richard Mulcahy.
“To have the primary Australian wholesale marketing and distribution hub for fresh fruit, vegetables and flowers weigh in on this issue signifies how important country of origin labelling reform is to the entire industry.
“Reforms to Australia's country of origin labelling system must include two key aspects – eliminating the misleading and ambiguous term ‘made in’ from food labelling, and identifying the specific country of origin of key ingredients.
“Reform is long overdue, and with the support of the Central Markets Association of Australia we can ensure strong, lasting improvements are made to the system.”
CMAA is the peak body representing the authorities or owners of the five central wholesale markets around Australia.
CMAA members include Adelaide Produce Market, Brisbane Markets, Market City (in Western Australia), Melbourne Wholesale Fruit and Vegetable and Flower Market and Sydney Markets.
Ausveg is the leading horticultural body representing Australia’s 9000 vegetable and potato growers.
Collectively, they provide an essential link in Australia’s fruit and vegetable supply chain, handling over four million tonnes of fresh fruit and vegetables each year, which represents a value of over $7 billion.
CMAA spokesperson Angelo Demasi said the move to support Ausveg is vital to ensure Australian growers are competing on a level playing field with international producers.
“Ensuring Australian consumers know where their food comes from is an issue of national importance, and we are pleased to stand behind Ausveg in its campaign for country of origin labelling reform,” he said.
“By rallying together for clearer laws, we can ensure the government remains firm in its commitment to meaningful reform. The industry wants change and Australian consumers want change, and it is time for the government to enact meaningful reforms that tell Australians where their food is coming from.”
Ausveg encourages all Australian consumers to provide input on the labelling changes by contacting their local MPs and Senators.