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Campaign aims to raise awareness for food labelling changes

Editorial
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A national consumer information campaign has begun to raise awareness of Australian Government reforms to country of origin labelling for food.

The reforms come into effect from 1 July 2016 to make country of origin labelling information on food clearer and more transparent for consumers following the registration of a new Information Standard on Monday.

According to Minister for Industry, Innovation and Science Christopher Pyne businesses have the ability to use new labels right now if they wanted to.

"The registration of the Information Standard ahead of its 1 July start date will give businesses some certainty, so they can start to get the new labels on their food products and onto shelves as soon as possible," Pyne said.

Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Agriculture and Water Resources Barnaby Joyce said the reforms were a win for both consumers and businesses.

"Labelling reforms to our food products have been a long time coming. This Government has succeeded in achieving these reforms where previous Governments have failed," Joyce said.

Most food that is made, produced or grown in Australia will need to carry a label that also includes kangaroo symbol, as well text and a bar chart indicating the percentage of Australian ingredients.

Labels for most products packed in Australia that contain imported foods which have undergone no or only minor processing in Australia will carry a 'packed' statement, as well as text and a bar chart indicating the percentage of Australian ingredients. They will not carry the kangaroo symbol.

Imported food will continue to show where it was grown, produced, made. If the food was not grown, produced or made in a single country it will need to indicate where it was packed and that it is of multiple origins or comprises imported ingredients.

The national campaign will inform consumers about the changes and explain what the new labels on foods mean.

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