Food industry welcomes national reform agenda

Posted by Daniel Palmer on 3rd July 2009

An agreement by Australia’s Governments to fast-track a national reform agenda to reduce costs and regulation for businesses has been praised by lead industry body for food and grocery manufacturers, the Australian Food and Grocery Council (AFGC).

The Council of Australian Governments (COAG) agreed this week that more economic and regulatory reform were needed to boost Australia’s productivity, competitiveness and economic growth. The move will hopefully see greater consistency in legislation from state-to-state and should enhance the ability to move grocery products between states.

AFGC Chief Executive Kate Carnell said that any measures to boost the industry’s productivity and safety as well as address mis-alignments between states were a welcome step forward for the food and grocery manufacturing sector.

“The food and grocery industry is delighted that Governments have agreed to improve national uniformity, including the reduction of regulation between states and territories,” she advised. “We were very pleased to see that steps are being taken by government to cut unnecessary regulation – our industry is already faced with a mountain of unnecessary red tape – all these things cost money for small business.”

Ms Carnell added that Governments have been talking about these improvements for some years, and expects them to reduce the regulatory burden on food and grocery manufacturers and their transport providers.

“These measures would also improve Australia’s food supply chain by allowing companies to distribute food and grocery products more easily across borders,” Ms Carnell said.

The AFGC is also urging the government to introduce a national enforcement agency for labelling and product composition to ensure that a product manufactured anywhere in Australia could be sold legally nationally.