What's in the Bill?
The main objective of the Food Standards Amendment (Fish Labelling) Bill 2015is to require country of origin labelling on nearly all seafood that is sold cooked or prepared by all establishments. This would, for example, require restaurants and take away shops to include country of origin labelling on menus for customers to discern exactly what they are eating and where it comes from.
Who's pushing for it?
The Bill has been co-sponsored by a group of Senators representing both sides of politics and the independents. It has been discussed in documentaries such as the SBS What's the Catch mini-series and is vocally supported by local Australian seafood producers and industry groups.
Why the big push for seafood labelling?
Australians love seafood, and Australia produces some of the best, most sustainable seafood in the world. But that is not always reflected in what the consumer buys. In fact, it has been widely reported that over 70% of the seafood Australians eat is imported from overseas. Whilst not all imported seafood is bad for you, or the environment, there is a significant portion that comes from poorly managed fisheries or waterways that are extremely over fished. The farming methods in many overseas fisheries, particularly in developing countries, can be incredibly unsustainable for their local environments.
You can read more about seafood labelling and why it is important at the Label My Fish website:
Where does Richmond Oysters sit?
We are both a retailer and a restaurant/take-away. As such, all the seafood on display in our restaurant is labelled with country of origin due to existing requirements under the Australia New Zealand Food Standards Code for raw or unprepared seafood.
We are also passionate about Australian and sustainable produce. Hence, more than 90% of what we sell day-to-day comes from Australian and New Zealand fisherman and fisheries. We know there are quality products available from overseas markets, but we also know that some of the best seafood in the world is caught and farmed right here in Australia.
As our customer, we firmly believe that you have the right to know exactly what it is that we are putting on your plate, and where it comes from. We hope to continue to improve our labelling practices, and provide you with ever more information about the wonderful seafood that Australia and the world has to offer!