A new campaign launched by the National Measurement Institute (NMI) will help buyers and sellers get value for money as Australian fruit and vegetables make their way from the farm gate to the table.
The NMI’s ‘Harvest to Home’ trade measurement inspection program will run until June and involve oversight by NMI inspectors of the weighing, packaging and selling of fruit and vegetables throughout their journey from paddock to plate. The program will include:
- visits to 1,400 traders, ranging from producers to wholesalers and retailers
- testing 1,700 measuring instruments
- inspecting 11,000 lines of packaged goods
- making 200 ‘secret shopper’ trial purchases.
“We want to make sure that everyone involved in the fruit and vegetable industry, from importers and farmers to retailers, is aware of their rights and obligations under trade measurement laws“, General Manager for Legal Metrology at NMI, Bill Loizides, said.
“Each year in Australia, fruit and vegetables are moved from importers and farms to our homes in millions of measurement-based transactions. In fact, around five million tonnes of produce are bought and sold each year.
“Whether you’re a farmer, a wholesaler or a consumer, accurate measurement is vital to support trade, ensure fair competition among businesses, and give consumers confidence in what they’re buying.
“Where breaches of the law are detected, NMI inspectors will usually advise businesses on how to improve their trading practices to meet their legal obligations. However, where persistent or serious breaches occur, NMI may use a range of enforcement options, including fines and prosecution.”
In addition to site visits by trade measurement inspectors, the campaign is supported by a factsheet and a short video clip that is available through the department’s YouTube channel, websites and other social media sources.
Mr Loizides said that shoppers who were concerned that products had been weighed incorrectly or had incorrect measurement labels should contact the National Trade Measurement hotline on 1300 686 664 or email@example.com.