Central Queensland coalition MPs have called on U.S-owned food cannery Golden Circle to prove their loyalty to all Australians by implementing new Commonwealth food labels on their tinned pineapple.
Capricornia MP Michelle Landry and Minister for Resources and Northern Australia Matt Canavan say the company – with a Brisbane-based cannery – should implement the new labels immediately to show consumers just how much of their tinned pines are from Australia.
The call comes as Golden Circle is accused of shutting its factory doors over the holiday season causing pineapple farmers to ditch some of their bumper crops of fresh pines.
“The recent dumping of pineapples has been a catastrophe in Queensland and Golden Circle needs to come clean with the pineapple lovers and the farmers of this state,” Ms Landry said.
“Golden Circle is a company that holds a special place in the heart of many Queenslanders and it would be a crying shame if we were to find out they had sold our pineapple growers down the river.”
Ms Landry said: “It is important for brands who wish to trade on the strong reputation of Queensland’s fruit growers, that they be completely frank about how much of the Aussie product is used. More accurate labelling has been made available, the message is, “Please use it!”
Ms Landry was dubbed the ‘Pineapple Queen’ in Australia’s parliament after handing out Yeppoon-grown pineapples from Tropical Pines to every MP and Senator. She has a history of strong representation and understanding of issues facing pine growers.
Senator Canavan said Golden Circle owed it to all Queenslanders to identify how much of their product was in fact Australian.
“If you go to the supermarket right now there are various labels on Golden Circle pineapple tins. Some state ‘Grown in Australia – but others state ‘Made from local and imported ingredients’. The question is: how much of their tinned product do they really import?
“We set up new labelling laws so all Australians can see how fair dinkum big foreign owned companies like this are in using Australian produce. Companies have had over a year to implement the new labels which become compulsory on all supermarket shelves for July this year. Golden Circle should use the new labels immediately,” the Rockhampton-based Senator said.
“It’s a crime to see so much of Queensland’s pines rot in the field because the cannery wouldn’t accommodate Queensland growers in the past month.”