The Albanese Government will provide $1.6 million to deliver its election commitment to introduce Country of Origin Labelling in the seafood industry.
The Government will work closely with the seafood and hospitality sectors to improve seafood labelling and help consumers make informed decisions about the food they buy.
Assistant Minister for Trade and Manufacturing Tim Ayres said the Government’s plan for clearer Country of Origin Labelling would allow consumers to easily identify if the seafood they choose at restaurants, takeaways or cafes is Australian.
“Australia is home to a world class seafood industry and consumers overwhelmingly want to buy high-quality fresh local produce,” Assistant Minister Ayres said.
“The Albanese Government backs our local seafood industry and consumers, who deserve to know where their seafood is coming from.”
Minister for Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry Murray Watt said Australia was home to the most delicious seafood in the world and all Australians should be very proud of that.
“I’ve seen firsthand the value of our fisheries industry, both as a job creator and an economic driver in regional Australia,” he said.
“As traceability and provenance become more important to consumers, we must support the efforts our local seafood industry is making to identify their products.
“Country of Origin Labelling will ensure that the seafood grown or caught here in Australia is rightfully given its dues on menus around the country.”
Consumers have had access to food origin information on most products in retail stores since 2018, when the first set of labelling reforms came into full effect.
Some restaurants and cafes already display seafood origin information for consumers, however there is no national consistency like there is for food purchased at the supermarket.
Assistant Minister Ayres said developing options for mandatory labelling of seafood will include consultation across the seafood and hospitality sectors.
“This will support the Australian seafood and hospitality sectors to work together to deliver transparent information to consumers while minimising costs and impacts on businesses,” Assistant Minister Ayres said.
“The process will also determine a transition period, to ensure businesses have time to adjust to any new requirements.”
Consultation will begin later this year.