Yesterday’s unanimous vote by the State Governments around Australia to support the Albanese Government plans to change Australian Consumer Law to allow for the implementation of mandatory Country of Origin Labelling (CoOL) for seafood in hospitality settings is a historic win for the seafood industry. CoOL gives consumers dining in Australian cafes, restaurants, and other food service areas clear and transparent information about the origin of the seafood, empowering them to make choices aligned with their preferences and values.
The implementation of mandatory CoOL for seafood in food service has been one of SIA’s key member priorities since its establishment and a cause championed by many other state representatives, sector representatives and businesses across the Australian Seafood industry for over 15 years.
Seafood Industry Australia CEO, Veronica Papacosta, commented on the historic decision, stating, “It’s difficult to explain how important this decision is to all of the industry leaders and advocates who have put some much time and effort over the last 15 years into achieving this outcome. SIA is so proud and grateful to have been a part of a unified stand by the wild catch and aquaculture sectors of this amazing industry. To have delivered a result that will provide the Australian community with the ability to make informed choices about the food they purchase and consume is a credit to the constant support and encouragement of SIA members and leaders across the industry.”
We acknowledge Assistant Minister Tim Ayres and his team for their strong and constant support for our industry and the delivery of the Albanese government’s 2022 election commitment. Assistant Minister Ayres’s unwavering belief in the Australian consumers’ right to know was inspiring and comes at a time when the Australian Seafood industry is in need of a win.
“The Albanese Labor Government has delivered on its commitment to improve seafood labelling across the country, said Assistant Minister, Tim Ayres, and “I appreciate the extensive contributions of the hospitality sector, consumer interest groups and the seafood industry in developing this proposal.”
The new legislation is scheduled for implementation in 2025, following a suitable transition period and an extensive education campaign. In the coming months, detailed advice will be made available to assist the hospitality and seafood sectors in understanding and adapting to these new requirements.