Campaign group Australian Made has told the National Food Plan that stricter labelling laws are needed to protect Australian food manufacturing jobs.
The National Food Plan, which has just finished its scheduled stakeholder consultation period and will release its white paper early next year, was told of the need for stricter definitions in labelling.
"Substantial transformation" within food processing was something that needed to be more rigidly defined, with Ian Harrison, the Australian Made CEO, claiming that country of origin labels need to be made mandatory.
Harrison made examples of products such as diced vegetables, cured meat and battered fish, which could be labelled as Australian made even if their major ingredients came from overseas.
"Australian Made has already changed its rules to ensure that the Australian Made, Australian Grown logo cannot be used on these types of products if there is significant imported content, and we call on the government to follow this lead,'' Harrison told the Weekly Times.
"The manufacturing sector is fundamentally important to the Australian economy because of the multiplier effect it has on jobs, skills and training opportunities, exports and innovation."