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Country of origin reforms continue

1 September 2016

The Turnbull Government has introduced legislation to the Australian Parliament today which continues country of origin labelling reforms that are seeing food with clearer labelling appear on our supermarket shelves.

Assistant Minister for Industry, Innovation and Science, Craig Laundy said the Competition and Consumer Amendment (Country of Origin) Bill 2016 provided plain and simple rules for businesses across all industry sectors that wanted to claim that their products are ‘made in’ Australia or another country.

“This Bill and the new Information Standard for food that commenced on 1 July this year are key parts of the Australian Government’s country of origin labelling reforms,” Mr Laundy said.

“Together they will provide consumers with clearer, more meaningful and easier to find information about the origin of the products they want to buy, particularly food.

“The reforms will also remove a production cost test for ‘made in’ claims that means little to consumers and is hard for businesses to apply. This means businesses will no longer have to recalculate the relative shares of imported and local content when they cut costs, input prices go up or exchange rates move.”

Mr Laundy said at the same time, the reforms would make it clearer that minor processes like packaging, slicing, diluting, crumbing or canning imported goods are not sufficient to justify a ‘made in’ claim.

“These changes will mean that a business can use a ‘made in Australia’ claim with confidence if its product is entirely Australian, or it has turned imported goods into a fundamentally different product here in Australia,” Mr Laundy said.

“The Australian Government’s country of origin labelling reforms were agreed with the states and territories in March this year after extensive consumer research and consultation with farmers, manufacturers, retailers and trading partners.

“I am pleased that these reforms will make it easier for small and innovative businesses to make country of origin claims that better reflect community expectations and international practice.”

For more information go to www.industry.gov.au/cool.

Media contact: Mr Laundy's office 02 6277 4345