Australians generally want to know where their food has come from and this is a key part of their purchase decision. Many people will not buy a specific product because it came from a country other than Australia.
Therefore Country of Origin Labelling (CoOL) is an important part of the information shown on any food package. The Trade Practices Act requires that a company must provide true information on their packaging, it is therefore essential that the CoOL is correct, so that Australians can make an informed choice about whether to purchase a particular food or not.
There have been numerous reviews of CoOL requirements and their implementation, and another inquiry has just been commenced by the Australian House of Representatives Standing Committee on Agriculture and Industry.
Committees must have terms of reference, the boundaries of the inquiry, and the following are those for this inquiry;
- Whether the current Country of Origin Labelling (CoOL) system provides enough information for Australian consumers to make informed purchasing
- Whether Australia’s CoOL laws are being complied with, and what, if any, are the practical limitations to compliance
- Whether improvements could be made, including to simplify the current system and/or reduce the compliance burden
- Whether Australia’s CoOL laws are being circumvented by staging imports through third countries
- The impact on Australia’s international trade obligations of any proposed changes to Australia’s CoOL laws.
Anyone can make a submission to the Committee about this inquiry by emailing them to email@example.com
Submissions must be received by 2 May 2014, and are considered to be evidence, so they will hold parliamentary privilege and cannot be altered or withdrawn with the Committee’s approval.
Approved submissions will be shown on the committee’s website http://www.aph.gov.au/agind, as will all details of the sessions and the public hearings.
This is an opportunity for people to make their thoughts known about CoOL and possibly impacting on changes to laws.
Written by Rachelle Williams – the Green Food Safety Coach