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Food safety scares raise awareness for buying local

April 9, 2015

A new initiative has been introduced in Brisbane aimed at persuading shoppers to buy local produce. The Brisbane’s Produce Market is supporting the new campaign that claims buying fresh local fruits, vegetables and other foods not only helps the local farmers but also benefits the consumer.

Following the Hepatitis A berry scandal, where the infected berries came from China, CEO of Brisbane Produce Market Andrew Young believes shoppers are becoming more concerned about where their fresh produce is coming from.

“The hand picked campaign is about highlighting the industry experience and personal service provided by your local fruit shop, and the origin of the high quality produce they sell,” he says.

Who is part of this campaign?

The almost 100 stores selected to be a part of the campaign will display a sign indicating they are ‘Your Local Fruit Shop’. There is also a website which allows you to search for your nearest local fruit shop and includes links to free recipes and other resources.

This campaign comes at a time when many consumers are hesitant to purchase produce with unspecified origins. The number of Australians who are less likely to buy food made overseas is continuing to rise. According to a Roy Morgan Research survey, 88 per cent of Australians prefer food that carries the ‘Made in Australia’ label.

Country-of-origin labelling gains momentum

New laws that have recently come into effect make it mandatory for selected foods to have their country-of-origin printed on their packet. The Australian Government has made these laws a priority and the Australian Made Campaign has welcomed them.

“A tighter system for food labelling, coupled with a better understanding of that system by consumers, will give Aussie shoppers more confidence in what they are purchasing,” Australian Made Campaign Chief Executive, Ian Harrison said.

Both the Your Local Fruit Shop campaign and the country-of-origin labelling campaign highlight the importance many Australians currently place on buying local produce. They also make it much easier for consumers to identify where the food they buy is coming from and potentially increase their overall food safety.