From July 1st, all food sold in retail stores across Australia will have to be marked with the product’s country of origin. Now Seafood Industry Australia (SIA) has urged consumers to demand the same for foodservice sales.

“The changes to Country of Origin Labelling in retail are excellent as they provide consumers with clear information on where their food comes from, which will allow them to make informed purchasing decisions; but retail is only half of the story,” Seafood Industry Australia CEO Jane Lovell said. “The new laws don’t apply food sold in places like restaurants, cafes, pubs, clubs and fish and chip shops. We want to see these labelling laws extended to foodservice.”

Lovell said they aren’t vilifying imported seafood, but believe consumers should be provided with the same information in foodservice that they have in retail.

“What we’d like to see is Australian seafood identified on menus, simple as that. At a minimum we’d like to see something like Australian Barramundi, but businesses can be as specific as they want. For imported seafood a simple ‘i’ to denote it’s imported with a clear explanation of what it means printed somewhere on the menu.”

“Country of Origin Labelling is already working in some restaurants and cafes in Australia with minimal cost or disruption. The argument that the introduction of Country of Origin Labelling in foodservice would be a huge cost imposition doesn’t wash. SIA welcomes the opportunity to work with the foodservice industry, there are practical low cost options out there.”