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Wednesday, 8 February 2017
Page: 395

Senator XENOPHON (South Australia) (19:02): I thank the minister for his response and Senator Carr for his contribution. I make this point: companies such as the very successful smallgoods company in Victoria that Senator Carr referred to—and I wish them every success and I hope they grow along with food processing companies across the nation—know what is in their food. They know what they have put in there and they ought to know as a matter of course where that ingredient comes from. That is not a difficult or onerous requirement. I am suggesting that consumers do prefer to see basic information on their labels when they are making a buying decision in the supermarket. But I think it could change the culture of some food processors, particularly multinational processors, if they were required to publish this information. It would not be overly onerous. There could be, for instance, a minimum threshold on the turnover of the business if there is a concern about administrative burdens, but it would actually empower consumers in a significant way to have more information than they otherwise would have. I ask the minister: given there will be a review, will the review include consideration of providing further information online and the feasibility of doing so in the context of that review? In other words, are the terms of the review set? If not, how will that be set? Does the minister have the ability to ensure that this particular issue of providing further information online on a regular basis is something that will be considered as part of the review?