The Nationals’ candidate for New England Barnaby Joyce says a Coalition government will deliver clearer country of origin labelling laws as part of a raft of policies to help the agriculture and horticulture industries operate on an even playing field.
“Survey after survey has found 80 per cent of Australians are prepared to pay more for quality Australian produce, in preference to imports,” Mr Joyce said.
“But our current labelling system does not give consumers the tools to easily and quickly choose Australian produce. Australians need the capacity to quickly and concisely make decisions about the food they buy and food labels should clearly state which country food was grown in.
“Australians do not want to be misled or confused with labelling that is deliberately obtuse.
“We will implement clear country of origin labelling laws to give consumers simple information about the origin of food without imposing additional costs on Australian producers or consumers.
“We know Australia produces the best quality food in the world, grown to the best environmental standards.
“Nationals policy is to implement clear labelling laws which allow consumers to easily recognise Australian food and therefore give them the choice to buy it, without going down the path of traffic light ratings proposed by the nanny state brigade.”
Mr Joyce said a Coalition government will also provide more resources for anti-dumping investigations, improving the quality of the economic and legal analysis that underpins Australian anti-dumping investigations.
As part of increasing anti-dumping efforts, Australia would require other countries to provide information on products it exported, with penalties applicable for non-compliance.
Mr Joyce said the Coalition had also committed to a root and branch review of Australia’s competition laws, including those governing supermarkets.
“It is more than 20 years since the Hilmer review of competition laws.
“The review was performed when major supermarkets had 40 per cent of the grocery market.
“This figure has now swelled to as high as 80 per cent and the time has come to look at the situation again.”