AUSTRALIA’S best artisan bacon, and Woolgoolga blueberries, are among the first crop of products to wear the new Country of Origin Labels (CoOL), giving consumers a clearer view of where their food is grown and produced.
And with the push for the great produce produced in this shire – through the Macleay Valley Food Bowl initiative – it’s only a matter of time before local producers also get onboard.
Member for Cowper Luke Hartsuyker visited Pialligo Estate in the ACT, which produces award-winning bacon, smoked salmon, and other artisan smokehouse products. Pialligo Estate is an early adopter of the new Country of Origin Labelling system.
Mr Hartsuyker said he wanted more businesses to follow the lead of Pialligo Estate, with 16 months left before the new labels are mandatory.
“Australians want to know where their food was made or packed, and how much was sourced from Australian farmers. It is great to see businesses around the country telling them just that,” Minister Hartsuyker said.
“A significant piece of legislation supporting the CoOL changes, the Competition and Consumer Amendment (Country of Origin) Bill 2016, passed through the Senate last week, meaning businesses can roll out the new labels with greater confidence.
“The changes make it clear imported goods cannot be claimed to be made in Australia just because their form or appearance has been changed during local manufacturing.”
Mr Hartsuyker said consumers should start noticing more products in supermarkets carry the new labelling system.
“We are already seeing food products such as BCP blueberries from Woolgoolga, Carmen’s original fruit-free muesli and Farmdale milk displaying new country of origin labels in our supermarkets.
“The new labels make it easy for consumers to see if – and how much of – their food is Australian and make more informed decisions about the food and other products they buy.
“Australian produce has a reputation of being high-quality, clean and green, and consumers have a right to know what they are paying for. It’s a system that’s good for Australian consumers – and it’s good for Australian farmers.”
There is an online tool available to help businesses identify appropriate labels for their products.