We have evaluated the reforms made to the Country of Origin Labelling (CoOL) for food requirements. The evaluation found the reforms:
- were implemented well
- have made it easier for consumers to get clear information about the origin of the food they buy.
It also found the reforms achieved this objective without imposing excessive ongoing costs onto business.
The evaluation process took 12 months. We consulted with consumers, businesses, industry and government stakeholders and engaged a consultant to prepare an independent evaluation report. We thank everyone who participated.
The evaluation recommends against making any major changes to the CoOL for food requirements at this time. The government agrees with this recommendation.
The COVID-19 pandemic has affected many Australian businesses, particularly those in the food service sector. Making major changes to CoOL could disproportionately impact small businesses.
We will continue to ensure that the CoOL requirements meet the needs of consumers, without creating burdens for business. To do this we will:
- explore voluntary options for CoOL in food service, particularly seafood
- look at ways to ensure ‘Made in’ claims are well understood
- work to increase consumer awareness, understanding and business compliance with the CoOL requirements
- continue to monitor the CoOL efficiency and effectiveness.