Vegetable industry body, Auusveg, has welcomed a move by fast food giant McDonald’s to display the country of origin of the ingredients they use in all their products and is urging other fast food giants to follow suit.
Fast food restaurants have come under pressure to add country of origin labelling since it was made mandatory on all food products sold in retail stores from July 2018, but they still remain exempt from the rule, alongside cafes.
“Fast food retailers should be upfront as to their food’s origin, particularly given Australian farmers produce enough food for the domestic market and to continue to supply international markets – Australia produces enough food for 75 million people, three times its population,” Ausveg CEO James Whiteside said.
“Australian consumers have a strong preference to buy locally-grown food and they have a right to know where their food comes from. The country of origin labels that are mandatory for products sold in retail provide more information to consumers about their food, but the system’s impact is lessened by not being applied equally across all food sellers.”
He said that “it is an inconsistent, two-tiered approach that is problematic for consumers” and sees the need for the fast food industry to apply the country of origin labels on their products so consumers can make informed choices.