01.Why does country-of-origin labelling matter?
CHOICE wants Australian governments to improve country-of-origin labelling on food for retail sale.
Take our Australia Day Food Labelling quiz to see how advanced your knowledge is when it comes to Australian fare.
The current system
is full of confusing terminology and loopholes, and this absence of clarity leaves consumers relying on voluntary certification schemes and logos
. These problems were recognised by the independent review
of food labelling, who recommended significant improvements to country-of-origin requirements in their final report
So far, governments have failed to act on these recommendations, with food and health ministers ignoring the panel’s recommendations when they met in December 2011.
But why does it matter? What is the benefit to consumers from knowing where a food product was manufactured, and where its ingredients were sourced?
For starters, CHOICE believes that consumers have a fundamental right
to make informed decisions about the food they eat. This principle applies when it comes to purchasing decisions based on price, where we support unit pricing reforms
, and nutrition, where we continue to call for interpretive front-of-pack labelling
Secondly, consumers tell us
they care about country-of-origin labelling for food. Those people who wish to buy Australian, and in some cases pay a premium for doing so, should know they are getting what they pay for.
However, the current and confused state of country of origin labelling makes it difficult for those consumers who want to buy Australian food to make informed decisions. This is why CHOICE continues to campaign for improvements in country of origin labelling.