CHOICE calls for Greens bill to provide for origin of manufacturing as well as ingredients
A new choice survey¹ into country of origin food labelling shows that for consumers, the importance of knowing where food is manufactured is almost as important as where it is grown.
CHOICE has submitted the new research to the Senate Inquiry into country-of-origin labelling legislation proposed by the Australian Greens, with the findings showing that:
- 84% of respondents said it was crucial or very important to be able to confidently identify if food was grown in Australia; while
- 80% said it was crucial or very important to be able to confidently identify if food was manufactured in Australia.
While CHOICE has welcomed the Greens’ commitment to improving country of origin labelling, the proposal only provides for labelling around the origin of ingredients.
“CHOICE congratulates the Greens for acting on this critical issue, however the proposal to wipe out the ‘Made in Australia’ claim would disenfranchise two out of three food shoppers who feel strongly about supporting Aussie food manufacturing jobs,” says CHOICE spokesperson Ingrid Just.
“CHOICE is calling for amendments to the bill to ensure that consumers retain information about where food is manufactured,” says Ms Just.
The survey also shows that country of origin continues to be a very important food labelling issue for consumers and is second only to concerns about the actual ingredients contained in the food.
Further, the survey reveals a wide gap between consumers’ understanding of the current claims and their technical definitions, with varied interpretations of three out of the four most commonly used claims.
“CHOICE has long been calling for reform to the current country of origin labelling framework and this latest survey shows that consumers find the claims currently used confusing,” says Ms Just.
“In fact, just 10% of consumers think information on where the food they buy comes from is clear and easy to understand, with 86% saying it is unclear.”
“CHOICE hopes that the process commenced by the Greens will result in an end to confusing country of origin labelling and give consumers the information they need to make informed decision about where their food comes from.”
¹ 743 CHOICE members surveyed.