AMAG wants labelling constraints

FOOD labels that say "Made in Australia" should not be allowed to use qualifying statements like "from local and imported ingredients", according to Australian Made Australian Grown campaign (AMAG) chief executive Ian Harrison.

The campaign, which regulates the use of the Australian Made logo, lodged a submission with the on-going Senate inquiry into the food processing sector.

Mr Harrison said food labelling statements, such as "Australian Made" or "Made in Australia" with qualifying phrases like "from local and imported ingredients", should not be allowed.

"We believe that the term shouldn't be used when more than half the product is imported.

"If the product doesn't meet the guidelines to be labelled 'Australian Made', then it should not be allowed - there are other ways to describe a product.

"Making a statement like 'Made in Australia' or 'Australian Made' should be specifically constrained to a country of origin claim."

He said that it was crucial for the product to be significantly transformed here and for more than 50 per cent of the cost of making it to be incurred here if it was to carry the 'Australian Made' logo.

"The substantial transformation criteria does not include packaging or re-packaging," Mr Harrison said.

"For any food product to be labelled 'Australian Grown', all of the product's significant ingredients must be grown in Australia, and all, or nearly all of the processing must be carried out in Australia."

Mr Harrison said the AMAG campaign had previously put submissions into a review of food labelling, but he felt the review did not properly look into country of origin claims.

But he said he had received a good audience with the current Senate Select Committee inquiry, and looked forward to stronger recommendations when it reports on July 30.

Topics:  labelling

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