Do you know if you are buying Australian produced fish ?

Do you know if you are buying Australian-produced fish?

Country of origin labelling is needed to stop imported fish from Asia being sold as barramundi, according to a north Queensland barramundi farmer.

Justin Forrester, manager at Coral Coast Barramundi Farm near Bowen, believes many restaurant diners and fish and chip shop customers are paying a premium, believing their fish is from Australia.
“Obviously barramundi, being an Aboriginal name, it’s got Australian connotations to it,” Mr Forrester said.

“The research shows 60 per cent of all barramundi eaten in Australia is actually from overseas.

“So nearly two thirds of the barramundi eaten in the country is from somewhere else.”

Mr Forrester said barramundi was referred to as Asian sea bass in Asia, but when it was sold in Australia it was sold as barramundi in the markets.

New country of origin labelling for packaged food comes into effect from July 1.

Mr Forrester said country of origin labelling was also needed in the restaurant, fast food and takeaway industry.

Disrupted supply chain causes issues
But the Restaurant and Catering Association said supply problems with local seafood meant imported product would often have to replace menu items labelled as Australian.

Country of origin labelling is needed to stop imported fish from Asia being sold as barramundi, according to a north Queensland barramundi farmer.

Justin Forrester, manager at Coral Coast Barramundi Farm near Bowen, believes many restaurant diners and fish and chip shop customers are paying a premium, believing their fish is from Australia.

“Obviously barramundi, being an Aboriginal name, it’s got Australian connotations to it,” Mr Forrester said.

“The research shows 60 per cent of all barramundi eaten in Australia is actually from overseas.

“So nearly two thirds of the barramundi eaten in the country is from somewhere else.”

Mr Forrester said barramundi was referred to as Asian sea bass in Asia, but when it was sold in Australia it was sold as barramundi in the markets.

New country of origin labelling for packaged food comes into effect from July 1.

Mr Forrester said country of origin labelling was also needed in the restaurant, fast food and takeaway industry.

Disrupted supply chain causes issues
But the Restaurant and Catering Association said supply problems with local seafood meant imported product would often have to replace menu items labelled as Australian.
“In terms of locally-supplied seafood, we have a very disrupted supply chain,” CEO John Hart said.

“And restaurants need to have certainty of supply at a quality they can serve.

“It’s just not the case that we can rely on the supply of local product or that we can all year round.

“The Northern Territory example [where country of origin labels are required on fresh fish] only really requires that imported product is labelled. What has happened in the Northern Territory is really clear.

“There’s been no additional consumption of local product,” Mr Hart said.

Customers keen to buy Australian products
Northern Territory Seafood Council chairman Rob Fish disagreed.

He said two Senate inquiries had shown the benefits of country of origin labelling were clear — local fish sales had increased and local hotels had embraced it.

“The hoteliers and the restaurateurs are the main hurdle that we’ve got at the moment,” Mr Forrester said.

“They’re claiming it’s a big cost of putting ‘local’ or ‘imported’ on the restaurant menu. It doesn’t really stack up in my mind.

“The research shows Aussies want to eat Australian food. They want to support local industry.

“If people can go out and pay for what they want from Australian industries, we’re supporting Australian workers, we’re supporting the development of Australia. So it’s a win win for everyone really,” he said.

http://mobile.abc.net.au/news/2016-05-05/country-of-origin-labelling-barramundi/7368264#.VyrJJnvtDes.facebook

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