SEAFOOD lovers will be able to read on the menu where the seafood they order is sourced from, under a NSW Government proposal for a new labelling scheme aimed at promoting local seafood consumption.
Deputy Premier Troy Grant said the NSW Government is determined to support the NSW seafood industry by promoting its locally sourced products all the way through to diners’ menus.
Currently, the Commonwealth mandated country of origin labelling requirements exempt restaurants, cafes and outlets selling seafood for immediate consumption, meaning customers don’t know information about where it is sourced.
“Seafood caught in NSW is among the highest quality and most sustainably caught in the world – and we want to make sure that all customers have the knowledge to choose our top-quality NSW products over cheaper, imported fish,” Mr Grant said.
“I think most consumers would be shocked to know that 85 per cent of the seafood they eat in NSW is imported – and an origin-labelling scheme would help them to choose a local product and support the local industry.”
“Fresh is best and we’ve got a lot to promote with our sensational locally caught prawns, tuna, rock lobster and abalone all deserving star status on our menus.”
Mr Blair said the NSW Government will now work closely with the fishing, catering industries and retailers on how a source of origin labelling scheme could operate in NSW.
“The only way a scheme like this works is if we develop it working hand-in-hand with commercial fishers, wholesalers and food service to make sure it delivers benefits to everyone,” Mr Blair said.
“NSW seafood fishing is sustainable, fresh, safe and the backbone of our coastal communities and the NSW Government will invest $400,000 as part of a campaign to promote the state’s $90 million industry to consumers and communities.
“The campaign will promote the role of the seafood industry in our community from the ground up with local ‘meet a fisherman’ events, seafood BBQs and also funding people to get certified through Oceanwatch’s Master Fisher Program.”