On 13 May 2015, the Senate referred the following matters to the
Economics References Committee for inquiry and report by 30 November 2015:
- the extent of food
certification schemes and certifiers in Australia including, but not limited
to, schemes related to organic, kosher, halal and genetically-modified food and
general food safety certification schemes;
- current labelling
requirements of food certification schemes;
- the need for labelling on
products produced by companies that pay certification fees;
- whether current schemes provide
enough information for Australian consumers to make informed purchasing
- details regarding
certification fees paid by food producers and/or manufacturers, and the
potential for these to impact on prices for consumers;
- the importance of food
certification schemes in relation to export market access and returns to
- the extent and adequacy of
information available to the public about certifiers including, but not limited
to, certification processes, fees and financial records; and any related
Conduct of the inquiry
The committee received 1492 submissions, as listed in Appendix 1.
The committee held three public hearings; a list of the public hearings
is included in Appendix 2.
Structure of the report
This report addresses the committee's terms of reference and is divided
into three chapters:
Chapter one (this chapter) states
the administrative arrangements for the inquiry.
Chapter two provides an overview
of food certification schemes and the roles of organisations and government
agencies involved in food certification, for both the domestic market and for
Chapter three examines issues identified by submitters and makes
a number of recommendations to enhance the food certification system.
Notes on references
References to submissions in this report are to individual submissions
received by the committee and published on the committee's website. References
to the committee Hansards are to the official transcripts from inquiry
The committee thanks the many individuals and organisations
that made written submissions, as well as those who gave evidence at the public hearings.
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