Consumers king as Country of Origin laws pass Parliament

A KEY commitment to introduce sweeping changes to Australia’s Country of Origin labelling system was delivered last night, as the Turnbull-Joyce Government kept its commitment to Australian consumers, Small Business Minister Michael McCormack says.

Legislation passed by the Senate last night will clarify when to use “made-in” and “packed-in” claims.

“These changes are sweeping and necessary, and will give consumers more information about the products they purchase from supermarket shelves clearly and concisely,” Mr McCormack said.

As Small Business Minister, Mr McCormack has responsibility for consumer affairs and says better information for consumers was central to the Coalition’s plan.

“We understand how busy Australian consumers are and how they want more information on Country of Origin labelling, which is easy-to-use and clear,” Mr McCormack said.

“That’s why we consulted widely on the scope and scale of the labelling system, to give consumers the information they want.

“More and more, Australians are conscious of where their food comes from and want to buy Australian product to keep our farmers doing what they do best, whilst keeping jobs and services local in communities.

“As a country MP I also understand how crucial these sweeping changes are for producers and for country communities more broadly. This is an issue constituents have often raised with me since I was elected to Parliament and I am delighted the Government has delivered on our promise.

“Businesses can now be confident in rolling out the new labels and consumers will soon see even clearer information for their favourite products on supermarket shelves.”

For food businesses, an online tool to assist businesses in creating labels, along with a range of other information and support for business, is available at business.gov.au/foodlabels.

Cristy Houghton