Call to overhaul label laws

The West Australian
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A citrus grower is demanding an urgent overhaul of Australia's country of origin food labelling laws.

NSW producer Vito Mancini is drafting a proposal on behalf of Riverina growers to try to unravel the confusion consumers face when products are labelled Australian-made, ABC reports.

Mr Mancini told ABC Radio if an item was labelled "Product of Australia" or "Australian Grown" it meant the product is wholly produced here.

But he said if it said "Made in Australia" without an accompanying green logo showing a kangaroo, then the product could grown overseas but packaged locally.

"The significant product, the juice, may be foreign but as long as the cost of the bottle is the majority cost of the product, it means it can be made in Australia," he told ABC Radio. "The juice sector in Australia is quite competitive and a lot of the smaller players who are trying to do the right thing by supporting Australian orange growers haven't had the ability to be able to market themselves and differentiate themselves for the consumer."

There are 1900 citrus growers across Australia, compared with 2500 in 1980.

Mr Mancini is calling on the Federal Government to overhaul labelling rules.

"The proposal is trying to make a system where a consumer can pick up a bottle of orange juice and quickly and concisely work out if it's Australian or if it's foreign," he told ABC.

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