Country of Origin Labelling Extended for Unpackaged Meat

AUSTRALIA - Making an informed choice about buying Australian or imported meat will be easier than ever with a government decision today to extend mandatory country of origin labelling requirements to unpackaged beef, sheep and chicken.
calendar icon 10 December 2012
clock icon 3 minute read

The ruling, agreed to by Federal and State Government members of the Legislative and Governance Forum on Food Regulation, means businesses will display a single sign for Australian–produced meat products while imported products will be specifically labelled.

Minister for Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry, Senator Joe Ludwig, and Parliamentary Secretary for Health and Ageing and Chair of the Legislative and Governance Forum on Food Regulation Forum, Catherine King, said the move would benefit consumers and Australian producers alike.

“Consumers value knowing where their food has come from and being able to select products that support our Australian producers,” Minister Ludwig said.

“Country of origin labelling is already applied to a range of products and it’s great to see unpackaged beef, sheep and chicken meat join that list.

“Consumers will now be able to make informed decisions about whether or not they are buying Australian product in their supermarket meat section or at their local butcher.

“That’s good news for consumers and even better news for Aussie producers.”

Parliamentary Secretary for Health and Ageing, Catherine King, said the decision will change consumer attitudes.

“Consumers will have access to clear and accurate country of origin information on a wider range of products,” Ms King said.

“The decision removes the inconsistency in applying country of origin labelling across unpackaged meat, which was a concern raised in ‘Labelling logic’ – the report of the Blewett review of food labelling law and policy.”

This decision builds on the existing requirement for country of origin labelling on most packaged food and unpackaged fresh and processed fruit, vegetables, seafood and pork.

The decision reinforces the Australian Government’s 2010 commitment to address community concern around the lack of country of origin information available to consumers about some unpackaged meat for sale in Australia, particularly beef.

The new labelling requirements will come into effect mid–next year.

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