By Aimee Chanthadavong

The Australian Made, Australian Grown (AMAG) campaign is urging all supermarkets and green-grocers to correctly and clearly label Australian made and grown products.

AMAG chief executive Ian Harrison told RetailBiz that there is evidence that middle-level retailers and fruit and vegetable shops are not labeling their produces as the law requires.

“Australians have confidence in locally caught and grown products because of our clean, green environment and our high food safety standards and that’s the key point,” he said.

“What we want retailers to do is be very specific in letting their customers know where the produce comes from. Then it’s over to the consumers to make the choice – to look, feel, taste, touch. They should be given all the information about a produce’s country of origin.”

“What we are doing is calling retailers to be proactive just like the major retailers Coles, Woolworths and Aldi who are using the AMAG labels extensively. We want the rest of the retail sector to follow the lead.”

According Harrison, compliance and costs remain hindering factors for moving forward.
“Matters relating to compliance are a problem Australia-wide because of the resources required be it federal, state or at a local level,” he said.
“I think with the smaller retailers there might be a view that nobody is going to inspect them or that they are happy to let customers think the produce is all Australian grown or the produces are Australian but don’t think need to tell their customers.

“But the one thing we do not want is the situation where retailers can sell imported produces and by not correctly labelling it allow consumers to be misguided to think it’s an Australian produce, particularly with the increase in imported produce coming in such as Chinese apples.

“Cost is always a factor. But if they associate with our campaign then we will help them with the AMAG logo but with independent retailers then it’s diligence rather than cost and hopefully it’s not a question of honesty.”