Fruit Juice Australia

A division of the Australian Beverages Council
18 January 2012

Media Release

Industry rejects safety concerns over Aussie juice

Fruit Juice Australia (FJA), a division of the Australian Beverages Council representing 95% of the juice industry, has rejected accusations Aussie juice is unsafe to consume following identical stories that aired on Today Tonight and A Current Affair tonight (18/01/2012).

“Juice manufactured in Australia must meet extremely high standards for safety and quality as set by the Food Standards Australia and New Zealand’s (FSANZ) Food Code (the Code). The Code sets maximum residue limits for certain chemicals used in food production and no Australian juice whether made from 100% local fruit or a blend of local and imported produce can exceed these limits” said Mr Geoff Parker.

“The stories assert that manufacturers should use more Australian fruit. Local juice companies would always prefer to use 100% local produce because it’s great quality and is cheaper to get to the processing plant. The problem industry faces is that the orange crop that can be used for juice has a shortfall of approximately 200,000 tonnes annually between what is needed and what is available. This shortfall can be further compounded by seasonal variability. To ensure consumers have a year-round supply of great quality juice the industry produces a range of juices including 100% Australian juice as well as having to use local product blended with imported product from a range of countries including Brazil, US, Mexico, Argentina and Italy. There has never been a shipment of imported juice rejected despite regular testing by authorities” Mr Parker said.

“To compensate for the shortfall in supply, the industry has been importing juice for decades – with no adverse side effects ever recorded. All juice for sale is perfectly safe and of exceptionally high quality. All labels comply with current regulations and given the seasonal variability of fruit available here and of imported product from overseas markets, changing labels on almost a batch-by-batch basis to reflect the exact country-of-origin isn’t practical.

”Australian juice manufacturers will continue to comply with all provisions of the Food Standards Code to ensure consumers can purchase all Australian juice to suit their needs and budget with confidence” said Mr Parker.

Media enquiries: Geoff Parker, CEO Fruit Juice Australia, +61 (0) 407 646 195