There have been times that there have been concerns over the details on the labels of food products because the labels are not always meaning the same things across the different brands of the same or similar products. Then there was the call for the Federal Parliament to determine exactly what a free-range egg is, occupying some 3 siting days – which is micro managing). As well there is the community disquiet over the spread of Halal certification of so many products. When considering all these things we believe a new approach must be launched to manage all certifications and food labeling so that each person knows precisely what the label means.
The Christian Democratic Party will create within the Department of Consumer Affairs a register of Certification of a product to be created and to be approved by the Department. An application for certification must:
State the purpose of the certification and the manner and process of seeing that a product complies with the details of the certification.
The manner of inspections and any cost associated with the whole process and for how the process and funds raised can be independently verified.
If the charges for the certification is designed to raise excess funds for a secondary purpose then the full disclosure of the end user of the funds must be demonstrated and to be independently verified.
That there be no pressure for business to sign up to any certification, but that the association must be voluntary entered into and as such the process of expanding influence must be demonstrated as open and free.
There will need to be a fee set for the application so that the process will be as far as possible close to revenue neutral to the department.
All details must be available for full public examination without a fee.
Penalties will apply for breaches of the process.