THANKS to the Macleay Valley Food Bowl initiative spotlighting the quality and source of Kempsey Shire produce, local shoppers can buy with confidence.
But working out exactly where food has come from at major retail outlets isn’t quite so easy – though that’s changing.
Local MP and Assistant Minister to the Deputy Prime Minister, Luke Hartsuyker, visited a major supermarket to demonstrate the new Country of Origin Labelling (CoOL) requirements.
“Many people will have already noticed the new labels starting to appear on products in stores, with a host of businesses embracing the labelling changes ahead of the July 2018 deadline,” Mr Hartsuyker said.
“Now is a perfect time to let people know what they’re all about, with advertising across television, radio, newspapers, online and in shopping centres on what the new labels mean and where people can find more information.
“Demonstrations like the one today complement the advertising by running people through the new labels, showing them a range of examples and giving them information to take home.
“It is helping make people aware of the new labelling laws and how they are being used on food products.
“People have been wanting more information about where their food comes from, and these labels do exactly that.
“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.”
Under the new requirements, for most food made, grown or produced in Australia, labels will feature a 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 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,” Mr Hartsuyker said.
For more information go to foodlabels.industry.gov.au or search ‘clearer food labels’.