|Know where your food comes from.|
The Australian Greens' legislation to implement Country of Origin food labelling is the focus of Senate hearings in Hobart today.
"I am delighted with the level of goodwill across Australia's food sector to achieving clearer country of origin laws," Australian Greens leader Senator Christine Milne said.
"Building confidence and trust in claims of being Australian grown and processed are critical for community trust and that's why this legislation really matters. It is long overdue.
"The Bill is based on the Blewett Review recommendations as an alternative to current food country of origin laws. That review reiterated the fact that Australians have a strong desire to be able to identify and choose locally grown food, and that it needs special attention separate from other goods."
"We have welcomed the strong support from groups such as AUSVEG and the Australian Food Sovereignty Alliance, CHOICE and other organisations and members of the public supporting our push for clear laws.
"Our bill has sparked strong interest and contributions. This is a complex issue, and there have been a range of excellent suggestions put forward which we will pick up to improve our bill.
"In particular, CHOICE's work highlights that it's important to have labelling that acknowledges Australian processed food as well as Australian Grown.
"I'm the first to agree that keeping jobs in food manufacturing is not only good for employment but reassures Australians about the health and safety standards that underpin processed food.
Keeping reference to processing is an amendment I will certainly adopt.
Australian farmers and workers in food processing need all the help they can get in the face of cheap imports. The Greens are doing all we can to support them.
"Today I am listening closely to the witnesses at the hearing to identify improvements to our bill. This issue has been languishing for too long, and the Greens are determined to see reform and achieve a level playing field for Australian growers."