Hinkler invited to have their say on labelling

Monday, 8 June 2015

Hinkler residents are invited to have their say on country of origin food labelling in an online survey that will help design Australia’s new labelling system.

Federal Member for Hinkler Keith Pitt said the Coalition Government had spent the past two months consulting with industry – including growers, processors and retailers – to implement a clearer, more direct system for food labelling that will give consumers the information they want in a way that is easy to read and understand.

“Minister for Industry and Science Ian Macfarlane and Minister for Agriculture Barnaby Joyce are now asking for consumer feedback from the very shoppers who will be in the supermarket making use of the new labels,” Mr Pitt said.

“Consumers have told us loud and clear that they want more useful food labelling, and now we want to hear from them about which label options they prefer.

“It’s important that people can make informed choices about the food they buy at their local supermarket. We want Australians to have confidence in knowing where their food is coming from.”

Mr Pitt said the National Party had been advocating for country of origin food labelling for two decades, and on March 27 last year the Parliament’s Standing Committee on Agriculture and Industry agreed to undertake an inquiry. They released their report ‘A Clearer Message for Consumers’ in October 2014.

“The berry contamination earlier this year increased public awareness and support for something that the farming and fishing industries have long been calling for,” Mr Pitt said.

“Widespread media coverage and public debate following the berry scare brought the issue to a head, prompting the relevant Ministers to prepare an urgent submission for Cabinet consideration.

“The Government is taking action on this issue to support our farmers and give consumers real choice, but Australians also have to get on board – complete the survey, always read the label and shop local wherever possible!

“We have several major food processing plants right here in the Hinkler electorate. They export to the world and together they employ hundreds of local people. They deserve our support.” 

The country of origin food labelling community survey is available at www.industry.gov.au/cool and hardcopies can be requested by calling 13 28 46.

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