See what you get food packaging, once it’s not the amount sugar.
The Australian Government has just launched a new food labelling initiative that highlights the food’s country of origin with a campaign declaring ‘See what you’re getting’. The new labelling must be rolled out in the next two years, forcing food brands to modify and update their food packaging to display the new Country of Origin branding.
Interesting that this new mediatory system insists on using clear colour and scale based charts to depict the information, insisting on simple clear formatting, where the far more important health star rating is optional, can be monochrome or coloured to blend in on pack and shunned a simple easy to understand traffic light system for a more complex category based rating system.
Beside the fact that this somewhat nationalistic campaign is launched just days before the Government goes in to caretaker mode before an election. I think it highlights where the vested interests lie within food branding and I don’t think it’s with the health and well being of consumers. This is an ongoing battle big food brands must deal with because I believe sooner or later they will be forced to reform their ways. And it’s always good to be ahead of things like this when it comes to your brands reputation.
Don’t get me wrong, I’m all for us championing Australian produce and goods and realise the benefit of buying Australian. But what I see here is a double standard. The big food industry lobbied heavily against the traffic light system and railed against it being mandatory. Slowly, some brands are adopting the health star ratings but I won’t be surprised to see the Country of Origin information appearing before the Health Star information.