Food & Agribusiness Talking Points | 10/01/2018


In today’s talking points: Australian Medical Association calls for sugar tax and ad ban; Ocean warming puts fisheries at risk; China’s salt industry faced an unprecedented change in regulation; Tasmanian cherry producers employ technology and social media to fight fake produce in Asian markets


Australian Medical Association calls for sugar tax and ad ban

In a position paper released on Sunday, the AMA has called for a number of measures to reduce obesity rates in Australia. Among these measures was a 20% tax on sugar-sweetened beverages, an idea previously rejected by Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull. The paper notes that an average of 1/3 of the Australian diet comes from processed ‘junk food,’ despite easy access to quality fresh produce. Calls were also made for a blanket ban on junk food advertising in order to close a loophole allowing for products to be marketed during sporting events. Also recommended was a continuation of food fortification programs, whereby manufacturers are required to add specific essential vitamins and minerals to food products to assist with overall health.

Read more at: The Guardian


Ocean warming puts fisheries at risk

A study published by the University of Adelaide shows that climate change appears to be the driving force behind falling fish stocks. It was found that rising temperatures appear to be reducing the availability of resources at the bottom of the food-chain, affecting all subsequent levels. An aquarium simulation designed to replicate the effects of rising temperatures on different aquatic environments showed that warmer waters resulted in an increase in cyanobacteria, otherwise known as blue-green algae, which is generally unable to support animal life. Hadayet Ullah of UoA said that further studies on the effects of climate change are essential, with the ocean providing people with income and food worldwide.

Read more at: Xinhua


China’s salt industry faced an unprecedented change in regulation

To reform the salt industry, China has revised its regulation on common salt. Under the new regulation, the salt prices should be set by operators by their own, and the task of designating salt manufacturers and wholesalers should be on provincial supervisory departments rather than national ones. The management of the manufacturing, wholesaling, distribution and transportation of salt is no longer mandatory. Salt operators are no longer obliged to apply for permits for salt transportation. The regulation aims to improve the security of the salt supply by giving more freedom to provincial level supervisors and individual salt operators.

Read more at: China Daily


Tasmanian cherry producers employ technology and social media to fight fake produce in Asian markets

For years, Tasmania’s cherry growers have been fighting with counterfeiting in Asia, where low-grade fakes were being sold in Asian markets under a Tasmanian-grown lable. These fakes have caused a great number of food safety problems in Asian countries like Vietnam and have damaged the reputation of the Tasmanian-grown cherries. The producers are now trying hard to make packaging and QR codes attached to be unique so as not to be easily replicated. Apart from the technology, the producers are also employ social media for consumer education, teaching Asian consumers how to tell the real cherries from the fakes.

Read more at: ABC News