Greens and Xenophon push for changes to “Made in Australia” labels

Posted by Daniel Palmer on 24th July 2009

The Greens and Senator Xenophon will introduce a bill for ‘truth in food labelling’ when Parliament resumes next month. The bill seeks changes to eligibility requirements for using the Made in Australia label.
“The ‘Made in Australia’ label is currently being given to some foods that only incur half of their total manufacturing costs in Australia,” Greens Leader Bob Brown remarked.

“Most consumers want to do what they can to support Australian workers and businesses by buying foods that are genuinely home-grown, produced in Australia. At the moment those well meaning consumers are being deceived by confusing laws and deprived of a genuine choice.”

According to Roy Morgan data, more than two thirds of consumers buy Australian made ‘whenever possible’ or ‘often’.

“Under the Greens’ bill the use of the term ‘Made in Australia’ will be limited to those products that are 100% made in Australia. This will give consumers real choice and support those dinkum Australian producers who are creating jobs on Australian soil,” Senator Brown suggested.

Senator Brown said the Greens moved to amend the 1998 Howard Government legislation that created the current ‘Made in Australia’ labelling laws, but were opposed by the old parties. He made the comments as the unions intensified their ‘Made in Australia’ procurement push.