Queensland Senator Barry O’Sullivan said the release of the Rural and Regional Affairs and Transport References Committee report into seafood labelling provided a clear path for the introduction of country of origin labelling for seafood in Australia.
Senator O’Sullivan has called on members of Federal Cabinet to support the report’s recommendation, which would enable clear and honest information for Australian seafood consumers.
The report recommends the exemption on country of origin labelling for cooked and pre-prepared seafood sold by the food services sector to be removed within the next 12 months.
Senator O’Sullivan said with Australians lining up to purchase seafood over the festive break, many consumers would welcome the opportunity to know whether they were buying Australian product.
“If I was to stand in the middle of a major supermarket this afternoon and ask people whether or not they would support knowing which country their seafood came from, the vast majority would support some form of labelling,” he said.
“This question would overwhelmingly pass the supermarket challenge.
“Throughout this inquiry we have looked at the evidence and my Senate colleagues have released a report that says labelling is a good thing for the industry. It will also be positive for consumers because it will provide real choice.
“I’ve been talking about this for some months – since I addressed the Australian Prawn and Barramundi farmers Symposium in August. It’s also a matter I know is close to former Senator Ron Boswell’s heart as well.
“We have the means to make these labelling changes. This should be the last Christmas in which seafood consumers are left in the dark over the origin of the product they are buying.
“The introduction of country of origin labelling is just common sense and I call on my ministers to make it happen.”