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Labelling Policy Reform

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It is a pity that the push for truthful labeling is only from the minor parties at present, such as The Greens and Bob Katter’sas The Greens and Bob Katter’s Party. But as we know, from acorns mighty oaks grow, so small acornlike initiatives are better than none.

We also all know that we are not being told the truth on many labels. Those of us who want to buy 100% Aussie produce are not interested in excuses about upsetting our overseas trading partners if we detail country of origin on labels in Australia – nor are we fobbed off by this issue being called “complex”. Just tell us, the consumers, the truth. Give this man a hug.

In the last few months, several iconic Aussie processing companies have closed, as have some leading farming operations, some of whom have taken their businesses offshore.

As Richard Mulcahy CEO of AUSVEG says (and he’s the one to hug): “The rise of imported food products in Australia continues to come at the expense of local producers, and is leading to a reduced supply of quality Australian food products reaching consumers… Despite their being more than enough produce to supply the domestic market, cheap imported vegetable products are rapidly becoming a staple on our supermarket shelves…”.

And, this is why Mr. Mulcahy should be congratulated on constantly highlighting the pressures our fruit and veg industries are under:

“With Australian consumers routinely indicating a preference to support their local industry, the practice of increasingly sourcing cheap overseas products seems at odds with consumer sentiment. … Our major retailers and Government need to support the local food industry to ensure we are offering consumers the high quality products they want and to ensure the industry can remain viable long into the future.”

Big Hug, Mr. Mulcahy ! Keep up the rhetoric.

“Food Stress Warning” from The West Australian newspaper, 20 May 2013. Now if you are already stressed, you mustn’t read this as it will add to your stress ! And then you will stress about stressing … The West continues “Fruit prices rose 18.8% and veg l0.7% between September 2010 and March 2013.”. That’s probably about 3 years, so you would expect some price rises. When you read that, you think ‘Those greedy farmers getting all that extra money and still complaining”. Hold on. Who received the price increases? In my experience, NOT the farmers, but the middle men and large supermarkets.

The ‘food stress’ in the article occurs when a household spends 25% or more of its income on food. Well, if you only have $l00 income per month and you spend $25 on food, I reckon you will be stressed – but on ALL levels. However, if you have $l0,000 income per month and spend $2,500 a month on food you could be accused of over-spending or gluttony, and that’ll give you stress!

Fruit & veg in season now:
Fruit: Apples, pears, lemons, mandarins and oranges are the main local fruits. Stonefruit are gone from the NVN region until November when the first peaches and nectarines ripen.

Veg: loads of traditional winter veg such as cauli, broccoli, celery, parsnips, heirloom carrots, kale, leeks. Snow peas and peas are around and for
posh cooks, celeriac ! We are also being offered interesting tasting potatoes such as Cashmere Gold, Harmony and Nicola.