"Made in Australia." "Australia made." "Manufactured in Australia." "Australian owned." Just some of the food labels Aussies routinely encounter in the groceries and supermarkets. While some people may not even give a damn on these labels, but to Australian consumer group Choice, it is important that Aussies know exactly from where the food they just picked and will eat later, came from.
In its survey, Choice said it found that Australian consumers pay attention to the source of the food being sold in the groceries and supermarkets.
"When choosing food, consumers tell us that knowing where it comes from is an important issue - second only to information on the ingredients it contains,'' Angela McDougall, CHOICE food policy adviser, said in a statement.
And as Aussies scrutinise the label on their chosen food product or item, they get confused.
"Australian consumers are finding country of origin labelling confusing with a proliferation of vague and muddy claims like 'Made in Australia from imported and local ingredients,' which means little," Ms McDougall said.
It is in this very confusing state that Choice wants food labels in Australia simplified and corrected, to:
- Packaged in Australia - a basic claim to accommodate products which by law have to carry an origin declaration.
- Manufactured in Australia - a claim about where the food was manufactured.
- Product of Australia - a claim about where the ingredients came from and where they were processed.
"Australian consumers want to support Australian products. Knowing where our food comes from is very important to Australians, which is why these proposed changes are so important," Ms McDougall said.
Essentially, food labels written as "Packaged in Australia from local and imported ingredients," would no longer be allowed and should read "Packaged in Australia from Australian carrots and peas."