Meat labelling bill to be taken to national level by NSW Government

Posted by Daniel Palmer on 17th February 2009

The NSW Government will take Independent MP Richard Torbay’s truth in meat labelling bill to the other states for immediate action, Primary Industries Minister Ian Macdonald said yesterday.The proposed Bill makes it an offence to falsely describe meat including beef, sheep, goat and pig in advertising, packaging, or labelling.

“I fully support Mr Torbay’s push – it will not only meet consumer needs but it will boost domestic meat sales and create more jobs,” Mr Macdonald said. “Truth in labelling would be a major step forward in ensuring consistency of quality for consumers.”

“This is all about ensuring that consumers can make informed choices about the meat that they buy, which in turn ensures that producers are recognised and rewarded for their hard work and high-quality produce,” he added.

Member for the Northern Tablelands Richard Torbay said it was time action was taken. “Beef producers in NSW are currently being disadvantaged by voluntary labelling that isn’t enforceable,” Mr Torbay suggested. “This issue has been dumped in the ‘too hard’ basket for too long and it’s time we did something about it. I am pleased that Minister Macdonald is advancing the matter.”

The Minister said all states needed to be brought into this scheme for consistency.

“We want to ensure that NSW does not go it alone on this. There is potential benefit for meat producers and consumers across the entire country if this scheme is adopted,” Minister Macdonald advised. “The Primary Industries Ministerial Council (PIMC) already has a national working group looking at meat labelling. At the next meeting in March we will consider options for harmonising meat marketing standards.”

“A Senate inquiry is looking into meat marketing and its findings will also be considered,” he concluded.