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WA FARMERS WELCOMES NEW COUNTRY OF ORIGIN LABELLING LAWS

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PORKER

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WAFARMERS WELCOMES NEW COUNTRY OF ORIGIN LABELLING LAWS

WAFarmers welcomes the announcement by Federal Minister for Agriculture Hon. Peter McGauran as a victory for Western Australian agriculture, horticulture and consumers.

¡§WAFarmers has fought a concerted battle in raising the community¡¦s awareness of this issue and we thank the allied industry groups that joined for a united front to reach this achievement,¡¨ said WAFarmers President Trevor De Landgrafft.

¡§Local industry viability, food safety and fair prices were cornerstones in the foundation for our success and we are convinced that with so much heightened awareness created amongst consumers, local produce, correctly labelled will be first into the shopping basket.¡¨

Agreed at the Ministerial meeting today was a new standard that will:

„h include unpackaged pork and pork products, and processed unpackaged seafood, vegetables, nuts and fruit
„h require unpackaged products to have a specific country-of-origin label not just a statement that the product is imported
„h require distinct statement-of-origin information on packaged products


¡§In light of the flood of ¡¥Own Brand¡¦ products set to dominate retail supermarket shelves these guidelines will be critical in ¡¥keeping the bastards honest¡¦ and giving our markets an edge against cheaper imports,¡¨ said Mr De Landgrafft.

¡§Through our lobbying and a petition from 50,000 Western Australians, the Hon. Kim Chance sat the major retail supermarkets around a table and negotiated the voluntary country of origin labeling for fresh fruit and vegetables with most supermarkets taking up the challenge to answer Western Australians¡¦ question ¡¥Where does our fruit and veg come from?¡¦

¡§This concerned WAFarmers as this was really only a ¡¥Gentlemen¡¦s Agreement¡¦ that lacked any teeth to bite recalcitrant supermarkets and to this end, today¡¦s announcement augurs well for the future.

¡§The announcement today is a victory for all industries producing food and the Australian community that will continue to support the quality produce grown.

¡§The job¡¦s not finished and the challenge ahead is to extend Country of Origin Labelling to packaged products with two or less ¡¥whole food¡¦ ingredients to deal with the label ambiguity of ¡¥Made in Australia¡¦ and ¡¥Product of Australia¡¦.

¡§Essentially, what we want is truth in labelling,¡¨ said Mr De Landgrafft.
 

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