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Sticking it to foreign imports claiming to be Aussie made

Alex Petryk, smokehouse manager at the Pialligo Smokehouse in Canberra, believes the new country-of-origin labels are easier for the consumer to understand.
Alex Petryk, smokehouse manager at the Pialligo Smokehouse in Canberra, believes the new country-of-origin labels are easier for the consumer to understand. Kym Smith

IT'S A simple green and gold sticker, but Alex Petryk reckons it could make all the difference.

Smokehouse manager at Canberra's Pialligo Estate, Mr Petryk said customers were already remarking on the new country-of-origin labels on the boutique label's pork and salmon products.

Pialligo Estate is an early adopter of the mandatory labelling system, launched last June.

Federal Parliament this month passed further reforms surrounding the use of terms such as "made in” and "packed in”.

The system - featuring the kangaroo logo - includes a sliding bar scale to show where products have originated and what percentage is Australian.

Imported products will no longer be able to claim "made in Australia” status just because they were processed or packed here.

Businesses have a year-and-a-half left to adopt the new system, which Mr Petryk said was relatively easy for a small company such as Pialligo.

The first labels on their bacon, sausage and salmon products - stocked in most IGA supermarkets in Canberra, and speciality stores and cafes in Sydney and Melbourne - went on just before Christmas.

"My personal feeling is that it's much clearer on packaging, it's much more visible,” Mr Petryk said.

"And looking at the legislation, the requirements to apply the labels are much more straightforward.

"Lots of grey areas are cleared up.”

National Farmers' Federation chief executive Tony Mahar said it was too early to tell how successful the new labels were - particularly in terms of encouraging people to buy Australian - but they would benefit farmers.

"I don't think it's perfect, but it's certainly an improvement on what we had and a step in the right direction,” Mr Mahar said.

Topics:  country of origin labelling


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