Country of Origin Labelling Policy
SIA’s policy is for Australian seafood to be identified by country, region or brand. This ensures a positive and promotable message reaches the consumer. Focusing on the “Australianness” of the product is aligned with the principles behind retail country of origin labelling.
- eg. Australian Barramundi or Northern Territory Barramundi or Humpty Doo Barramundi.
Imported seafood can be similarly identified if so desired. If not, then there must be a mechanism to indicate that the seafood is imported, but there is no requirement to identify the specific country of origin. This provides increased flexibility for businesses to manage variations in supply without the need to alter menus.
- eg. an “i” after the fish species or descriptor that links to a footnote explaining this product is imported. “i – imported” or similar statement or symbol that makes it clear the product is not Australian
Identification is only required where the consumer is making a purchasing decision and where there is a written menu. Institutions such as prisons, nursing homes and the like should be exempt.
Identification of the origin of seafood is required where the seafood is the “characterising ingredient” or the “hero” of the dish.
Where there are multiple seafood ingredients of varying origin a statement of mixed origin may be made, rather than requiring the identifying each component. A statement regarding particular seafood ingredients can be made if so desired.
Labelling must be mandatory. There is evidence of perverse outcomes in a voluntary environment due to many consumers believing the absence of CoO equates to the product being Australian.
A compliance window of 24 months should be included to allow for natural updating of menus.