Seafood industry renews call for country-of-origin labels in foodservice

Australia’s seafood industry is asking consumers to support the expansion of Country of Origin Labelling laws to encompass seafood products traded in food service businesses in the midst of a government review.

“Seventy per cent of the seafood eaten in Australia is imported, the majority of this consumption is in the foodservice sector, and many people don’t realise this,” said Seafood Industry Australia (SIA) Interim CEO Veronica Papacosta.

“Consumers assume their seafood meals are made using Australia seafood, however we know this is often not the case. We know people want to support our Australian seafood producers, but people cannot buy Australian seafood if they can’t tell where it’s from.”

All food sold in retail must be labelled with its country of origin, according to legislation that came into effect in July 2018.

“Queensland has some of the best seafood in the world,” said LNP leader Deb Frecklington. “The LNP’s plan will generate interest in the local industry and give consumers the opportunity to put Queensland seafood markets, restaurants and cafes first. All we would have to do is make an amendment to the Food Act 2006 – so our policy won’t cost taxpayers a cent.”

“As the world continues to grapple with the coronavirus pandemic, clear labelling for Australian seafood not only allows consumers to support our domestic producers, but the entire supply chain including processors, truck drivers and regional communities more broadly,” said Minister for Agriculture David Littleproud.

According to a 2018 report, demand for Australian produce has risen both locally and internationally.

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