New food labelling laws 'berry' smart
SMART Berries Australia at Mundubbera is one of a growing number of local companies rolling out Australia's new Country of Origin Labelling early, making it easier for consumers to support local farmers and businesses.
Assistant Minister to the Deputy Prime Minister, Luke Hartsuyker, and the Member for Flynn, Ken O'Dowd, visited Smart Berries' farm at Boynewood yesterday to see Australia's new CoOL changes in action - well in advance of the June 30, 2018 deadline.
Mr Hartsuyker said it was wonderful to see a national producer like Smart Berries Australia taking ownership of the changes well before the new labels became mandatory and setting an example for other businesses.
"Australians want to know where their food is made and packed, and how much has been sourced from Australian farmers. The CoOL system does just that and makes it easier for those shoppers keen to support local Australian businesses to do so,” Mr Hartsuyker said.
"Smart Berries understands the benefits of informing its customers where their products are from as an effective way to differentiate from imported products.
"For most food made, grown or produced in Australia, labels will feature the kangaroo in a triangle symbol and a bar chart indicating the percentage of Australian ingredients.”
Mr O'Dowd said he was delighted to visit the Mundubbera farm to hear about the progress they were making in adopting CoOL, and encouraged other businesses throughout Central Queensland and across the country to get on board with the new reforms.
"Smart Berries Mundubbera farm is one of the biggest blueberry farms in Australia and consumers can find their blueberries in major shopping centres and markets across Australia,” Mr O'Dowd said.
"I believe this new labelling system is a positive for both consumers and Smart Berries.
"I thank Smart Berries and their team at the Mundubbera farm for being leaders in informing their customers and showing the way to other businesses who haven't yet implemented the new system.
"There is a range of assistance available to help businesses with the process, including an online tool to help them identify appropriate labelling for their products.”
The tool and other support for businesses can be found at business.gov.au/foodlabels or by calling the contact centre on 132846.
More information for consumers can be found at foodlabels.industry.gov.au.