New labels have farmers flummoxed

Farmers say new labelling system has not made identifying Australian products easier


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Farmers say new labelling system has not made identifying Australian products easier.

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Grown in Australia, Product of Australia, Made in Australia, Packed in Australia, what does it all mean?

LABEL CONFUSION: Dairy farm owners Corinne Annetts and Liz Christensen want answers about Australian Made products under the new labelling system.

LABEL CONFUSION: Dairy farm owners Corinne Annetts and Liz Christensen want answers about Australian Made products under the new labelling system.

Turns out, Aussie farmers aren’t sure either.

On July 1, 2016 the Australian government introduced new food labelling requirements. These requirements were aimed at making it easier to tell where products come from.

Sunhill Dairy Goats Uralla owner Corinne Annetts and New England Cheese owner Liz Christensen are frustrated with the new labelling system.

“The laws are still ambiguous and there are too many exceptions,” Ms Christensen said.

Both women create and process their products in Australia.

“It’s 100 per cent Australian, but because our cultures are imported from France and such a minute percent goes into our cheeses, we’re not happy we’re not allowed to call it Australian grown,” Ms Annetts said.

Farmers have two years to change their labels to meet the requirements. Both women said they were prepared to spend thousands on relabelling but needed firm answers.

“Our customers know that our products are 100 per cent Australian, no one wants to see a 0.01 per cent is from somewhere else when it really isn’t the priority in our product,” Ms Annetts said.

“We’re not big businesses, we need to make sure our labels are right the first time and we can’t afford to make mistakes.”

The Department of Industry, Innovation and Science held a forum in Armidale on Thursday to educate farmers on the new labels.

Policy officer Jeanette Marshall said the purpose was to advise businesses about the new country of origin labelling requirements.

“To make those claims it needs to be 100 per cent Australian if it’s a Product of Australia,” she said.

The story New labels have farmers flummoxed first appeared on The Northern Daily Leader.

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