Industry body Cider Australia is seriously concerned that cider is excluded from the Federal Government’s proposed new country of origin food labelling scheme leaving consumers with no certainty about the origin of the juice content.
The Government has announced that from next year it will omit alcoholic beverages from the obligation to declare on the label whether the contents were grown in Australia or overseas.
Cider Australia President Sam Reid said, “Not including cider in a future country of origin labelling scheme would be a devastating blow to an industry that so strongly supports local growers and regional development.
“We agree the existing laws are not effective, but removing cider from the scheme altogether does nothing for the Australian cider industry, growers or consumers”.
“Cider and perry are traditional beverages made by fermenting the juice of apples and pears and the quality and origin of the juice has a huge bearing on the quality of the end product.
“Fruit juice is quite rightly included on the list of foods covered by the new rules and the new labels will highlight all the imported concentrate that goes into apple juice, but Australian consumers need to be aware that the same thing happens in cider”, said Mr Reid.
“Cider like wine is made from fruit, and Australia has clear and enforceable rules to ensure that claims about country of origin on wine labels are truthful – consumers of cider also need this assurance”, said Mr Reid.
“There is a great opportunity here to reform country or origin labelling laws so they do what they were meant to do in the first place and play a role in ensuring a sustainable future for the Australian cider industry”, Mr Reid said.