Australian Made has appeared before the senate standing committee on Rural and Regional Affairs and Transport regarding the labelling of beef imports into Australia.
The adequacy of current labelling laws were bought in questions as well as the associated health and safety implications of importing beef from disease-affected countries.
Australian Made believes that the Senate Committee must stand firm regarding import regulations in order to maintain Australia’s reputation for prudent safety standards and environmentally friendly processes.
“In the case of beef, there is strong and justifiable concern about possible contamination of imported meat by diseases such as Bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE) and foot-and-mouth disease (FMD), and the consequent dangers to human health,” Australian Made Campaign Chief Executive, Ian Harrison said.
The revised food standard which will come into effect in July 2013, covers compulsory country of origin labelling for unpackaged foods including beef, veal, lamb, hogget, mutton and chicken. These new standards do not extend to cover less common varieties including horse, rabbit, duck, turkey and quail.
Australian made is calling for compulsory country of origin labelling on all types of meat, seafood, fruit and vegetables and believes that it is within the interests of both business and consumers alike to develop uniform, easy to interpret labelling laws.
“At present, the rules for using the Australian Made, Australian Grown (AMAG) logo on food products are more stringent than the rules applied by the ACCC for products to be described as ‘Australian Made’ or ‘Made in Australia’,” Harrison said.
“Being able to describe their products as Australian is an advantage in the market place for Australia’s manufacturers and producers. The Government should be seeking to strengthen this advantage by building greater consumer confidence into the labelling laws for ‘Made in Australia’ claims.”
“At present, the rules for using the Australian Made, Australian Grown (AMAG) logo on food products are more stringent than the rules applied by the ACCC for products to be described as ‘Australian Made’ or ‘Made in Australia’,” Mr Harrison said.
According to Harrison, researched has indicated that consumers have a strong preference toward Australian fresh and processed food due to the country’s stringent food safety standards.
“It is Australian Made’s position that all food products should be required to carry a country of origin claim.”