Aquaculture for all
The Fish Site presents: The Vienna Sessions - Conversations about aquaculture. 9 video interviews with aquaculture thought leaders. Watch here.

Call for Seafood Origin Labels in Oz Restaurants

Marketing Economics Food safety & handling +4 more

AUSTRALIA - The Australian Barramundi Farmers Association (ABFA) has called on the Federal and State Governments to support a requirement that seafood dishes identify the country of origin of the fish used.

The call comes following a meeting of ABFA members in Cairns, where it was resolved to lobby government to implement the compulsory labelling of country of origin for seafood products sold in restaurants.

Speaking on behalf of the Association, ABFA President Dr Ken Chapman said the call followed the introduction of the initiative in the Northern Territory late last year.

"They can make the choice at the supermarket... so they should be given that same choice at restaurants."
ABFA President Dr Ken Chapman

"Compulsory country of origin labelling was introduced in the Northern Territory last year. This gives consumers a real choice and allows them to make informed decisions about what they are eating," Dr Chapman said.

"ABFA pressed the previous Federal Government to reserve the name 'Barramundi' for Australian product. The government rejected this and now we have a flood of imported product on the market," he said.

"Australian Farmed Barramundi meets the highest international food safety standards, a claim that not all imported produce can make, so it's important that restaurants tell the consumer what they are getting. Patrons have the right to know if the fish they are eating is fresh, locally produced product, or imported produce."

"If it's not Australian, consumers deserve to be told. They can make the choice at the supermarket, where country of origin labelling is already compulsory, so they should be given that same choice at restaurants."

Since November 2008 the Department of Regional Development, Primary Industry, Fisheries and Resources in the Northern Territory, has required all fish retailers to identify the country of origin for each seafood dish advertised for sale. 'Advertised' includes but is not limited to, menus, menu boards, pamphlets, brochures etc. In the cases of mixed seafood dishes, fish retailers must advertise if it contains any imported seafood.

ABFA called on the Federal and State Governments to line up behind this approach.

"Consumers should be able to make informed choices about what they buying and eating at restaurants, and if you want the best quality, choose Australian Farmed Barramundi."