The Green Party will:
- Require “free range” to mean what it says, by developing a mandatory consumer information standard under the Fair Trading Act.
- Introduce mandatory country of origin labelling for fresh and single ingredient food so people know where their food comes from.
There are many reasons why people want to know more about how their food is produced and where it comes from. Some people want to support local producers and the local economy. Some are concerned about the environmental costs of transporting food long distances. Others are concerned about animal welfare or food safety standards. Whatever the reason, people want and deserve to make fully informed decisions about the food they buy. That’s what better labeling on food means, and that’s what the Greens will deliver.
Free range should mean what it says
Eggs and meat labelled as “free range” should come from animals living happy lives who spend a large proportion of their time roaming outside. But currently, there’s no standard definition for what can be labelled free range and in reality, conditions differ hugely between producers. Many eggs labelled free range can be from hens on farms where the majority of their hens do not get to spend time outside. Some food producers do the right thing by their animals and ensure they are able to express their natural behaviours. Unfortunately, some don’t.
The Green Party will develop a mandatory consumer information standard under the Fair Trading Act to require food producers who label their food as free range to disclose information about their animal welfare standards.
Country of origin labelling
Clothes and shoes already have mandatory country of origin labelling – why not food?
The Green Party’s Consumers’ Right to Know (Country of Origin of Food) Bill is currently before Select Committee. This Bill makes it compulsory to label fresh or single-ingredient food products, such as fruit, vegetables, meat and fish, nuts, grains, oils, with the country where the food was grown or produced. In government, we will progress the goals of this Bill with mandatory country of origin consumer labelling requirements under the Fair Trading Act, as many submitters to the Select Committee have recommended.