01.Consumer Law update
Legislative changes aimed at making Australian-grown products easier to identify are a step in the right direction, but do not live up to the standards set by the Australian Made Australian Grown (AMAG) campaign.
The new Australian Consumer Law requires products carrying a ‘Grown in…’ claim to have 50% or more of the total weight of the goods comprised of ingredients grown and processed in the specified country.
However, the AMAG rules state that a product may only be labelled ‘Australian Grown’ if 90% of the total weight of the product is comprised of ingredients grown and processed in Australia.
“The legislation is a step in the right direction, but does not go far enough in simplifying labelling for consumers,” says Clare Hughes, CHOICE’s Senior Policy Officer. “Country of origin labelling is one of the biggest concerns for Australian consumers. Ideally we would like to see legislation that is keeping up with industry best practice, rather than lagging behind.”
Lisa Crowe, Administration and Compliance Manager of AMAG, believes the AMAG logo is still the best way for consumers to make informed choices about the origin of products. “We are pleased that ‘grown in’ claims are finally covered in legislation… [But] the new provisions in the Australian Consumer Law are simply setting a baseline against which such claims can be legally assessed, whereas AMAG is certifying products which meet a higher standard.”