Farmers back moves to simplify food labelling

THE NSW Farmers Association has welcomed the House of Representative's Standing Committee on Agriculture and Industry report and recommendations into country of origin labelling.

It said the committee had listened to farmers' concerns on how consumer law legitimised confusing country of origin claims such as the use of "made in Australia from local and imported ingredients".

NSW Farmers horticulture spokesman Peter Darley said labelling should accurately reflect the origin of food products and its ingredients as well as where processing has occurred.

"We are pleased the committee has agreed that better protocols are needed to ensure the arrangements under which Australia accepts New Zealand's food labelling laws do not lead to consumer confusion," Mr Darley said.

"Our association also supports the recommendation to implement a visual icon on food labels that will quickly enable consumers to determine whether the ingredients within the product are mostly of Australian origin.

"A more standardised and simplified labelling system for Australian ingredients will not only clarify products for consumers, but it will also help promote the Australian agriculture industry in the domestic market."

The inquiry identified ways food labelling was misleading consumers and what remedies were available.

After receiving more than 50 submissions and conducting several hearings on the matter, the committee's report made eight recommendations into country of origin labelling.