Easier food labelling a big win for consumers | video

Country of origin: Woolworths' group manager Troy Pinder and Settlement City store manager Steve Parker and Cowper MP Luke Hartsuyker with an example of the new food labelling.

Country of origin: Woolworths' group manager Troy Pinder and Settlement City store manager Steve Parker and Cowper MP Luke Hartsuyker with an example of the new food labelling.

Seventy five per cent of shoppers want better food labelling so they can identify which products are Australian-made and those from overseas.

On Wednesday, Cowper MP and assistant minister to the deputy prime minister Luke Hartsuyker took to the aisles of Woolworths to give shoppers a first-hand rundown on the new labelling system.

While the labelling changes don’t officially start until July 2018, some products have already embraced the new system.

Mr Hartsuyker said he wanted to show shoppers the benefit of the new labels.

“Even today, some people are already aware that the new labelling system is appearing on products and in stores,” he said.

“It is pleasing to see that a host of businesses are embracing this change.”

The public awareness blitz will help consumers understand the new labelling system, what they mean and where to source more information.

“Today was about making people aware of the new labelling laws and how they will be used on actual food products. There are a range of products that are already using the new system,” he said.

It is pleasing to see that a host of businesses are embracing this change

Cowper MP Luke Hartsuyker

A majority of consumers – 75 per cent according to Mr Hartsuyker – have called for more information about where their food comes from.

“And these labels do exactly that,” he added.

“Australians want to know where their food was made or packed, and how much was sourced from Australian farmers, and it’s great to see businesses taking ownership of the changes.

“For most food made, grown or produced in Australia, labels will feature the kangaroo in a triangle symbol and a bar chart indicating the percentage of Australian ingredients.

“Identifying where a food has been packed is no longer sufficient—labels make it clear where an item has been produced, grown, made or packed.

“Imported goods cannot be claimed to be made in Australia just because of a change of their form or appearance— such as canning, slicing or reconstitution—here in Australia.

“Australian produce has a reputation of being safe, high-quality, clean and green, and consumers have a right to know where what they are paying for comes from.

For more information go to foodlabels.industry.gov.au or search ‘clearer food labels’.

Further information for businesses can be found at business.gov.au/foodlabels