Presentation on theme: "11 May 2011 Andrew White Manager – VIDP Communications Mastering Supply Chain Integrity in the Australian Food Industry."— Presentation transcript:
11 May 2011 Andrew White Manager – VIDP Communications Mastering Supply Chain Integrity in the Australian Food Industry
AUSVEG The National Peak Industry Body representing the interests of 9,000 Australian vegetable and potato growers. Assists growers by working to ensure the National Vegetable Levy and National Potato Levy are invested in Research and Development (R&D) that best meets the needs of the industry. Delivering national projects in the areas of communication and environment on behalf of industry.
National Focus Increased public profile and communications capacity. Strategic partnerships with the vegetable and potato industry supply chain. Successful national events incl. AUSVEG National Convention, Trade Show and Awards for Excellence. Effective representation and advocacy for growers. Policy development and industry engagement. Regular communication with State and Corporate Members. Large player within horticulture, with a focus on accountability.
Communication of R&D Outcomes A range of communications projects funded by vegetable and potato levies. Industry magazines distributed to all levy payers: Grower profiles R&D project reports Reporting on the latest industry news
Central R&D data store The vegetable industry has developed a knowledge management system to house all the R&D undertaken on behalf of the industry since the early 2000s. The database is accessible to growers and the supply chain via the AUSVEG website – The database includes tools, resources and scientific findings to help growers in their businesses, including in the areas of pest and disease management, chemical management, the environment, communications etc.
Communications Dramatic escalation in media coverage and profile. Developing relationships with decision-makers in government. AUSVEG Media Coverage: May 2009 – January 2011.
Mandate for clearer labelling A survey conducted by Auspoll in 2005 indicated that Australian consumers overwhelmingly support the right to be given accurate information as to whether the food product they are buying is actually produced in Australia.
Support for Aust. grown Key findings of the 2005 survey were: 94 per cent of consumers would support a regulation for compulsory labelling for packaged food indicating the country the food was grown in. 89 per cent of consumers believe that a food product marked with “Made in Australia” when most of the food is grown overseas but packaged in Australia is misleading. 84 per cent of consumers regard the label “Made in Australia from local and imported ingredients” when most of the food was grown overseas as misleading.
Country of Origin So… There is a need for a clearer labelling system. There are too many options under the trade practices act for describing a product as “Australian” and this is confusing for consumers. Existing technology for packaging enables changes to be readily completed in a short timeframe and, furthermore, in a cost efficient way. Any change to the law which seeks to clarify the food content of a product is in AUSVEG’s view a positive development. There needs to be a level playing field which gives consumers the opportunity to make informed purchasing decisions.
Country of Origin Question: How do you know how much is local and how much is imported? Which is which?
Country of Origin Under the Trade Practices Act and the Food Standards Code, ’Made in Australia’ can be used in labelling processed vegetables if more than 50 per cent of the value of the product is added in Australia, regardless of where the vegetable comes from. This can even include the cost of the container and the cost of labelling.
Imports The vegetable industry is a $3.2 billion industry (farm gate). Australia imported $555 million worth of vegetables in the 2009/10 financial year. Australia’s deficit in trade in vegetables widened to $169 million during July-December 2010 from $156 million in the corresponding period of the previous year. ABS data
Testing and Integrity Food in the ‘random surveillance’ category is referred to AQIS by Customs at the rate of 5% of all shipments by tariff classification for inspection, versus the 100% referral rate for ‘risk’ foods. Only a handful of vegetables are considered in the risk category, so therefore the majority of vegetable and potato products being imported into Australia are only being tested at the ratio of 5%. In AUSVEG’s view this ratio should be considerably higher. Potential hazards might include elements or contaminants such as illegal or high levels of preservatives or artificial sweeteners, foreign matter, moulds, infections (e.g. salmonella), higher than permitted levels of agricultural chemical residues, or labelling defects, amongst others. As AUSVEG understands AQIS only tests for chemical violations of those chemicals that are permitted for use within Australia. Not enough is being done to ensure that imported products meet the standards to which Australian primary producers must themselves adhere to in a domestic setting in terms of QA.
Traceability Benefits to adoption of a national traceability system: Tracing for potential chemical violations (i.e. exceeding MRLs) Better identification at the farm level in the event of a food contamination incident More accurate information to be supplied to consumer on source of produce within Australia Tracking of product from its source to the consumer Potential barriers to adoption of traceability within the supply chain: Farmers view their neighbour as a competitor Compliance fatigue Cost
Thanks Andrew White Manager – VIDP Communications (03)