Beware of Hidden Vegetable Imports

    It is often hard to know if what you’re buying is fresh and locally grown to Australian standards, or whether the goods are overseas imports. 

A recent article in the Advertiser highlighted the high incidence of poor or misleading labelling of imported processed or packaged vegetables.

Unfortunately many people are being misled when buying their processed and frozen fruit and vegetables. The frozen pack of carrots that you saw at the local store this morning, states packed in Australia but in fact may very well have been grown in China.

The consumer expects, as most would that if the bag says Australian then they are Australian BUT unfortunately this is not always the case.


AUSBUY is an Australian organisation encouraging consumer awareness of the difference between Non-Australian and Australian made and owned products. They have indicated the importance of introducing Compulsory Country-of-origin labels.

Often vegetables are grown in China, processed and packed in Australia or New Zealand and then labelled indicating where they were packed or processed but not letting the consumer know where they were grown.

There is government concern over the increasing percentage of imported foods into Australia. Over the past five years processed vegetable imports have increased steadily by 4.1% per annum. The percentage currently sits at 20.4% and continues to rise each year. 

 "Other imports expected to grow in popularity over the coming years include wine and meat, although as a lesser percentage of total consumption compared to seafood and fruit and vegetables". 

 “New Zealand, the United States of America, China and Thailand are our primary import suppliers, with convenience foods such as individual serves of vegetables suitable for cooking in the microwave being the most popular product category as they appeal to many of our fast paced Australians lives.” 

You can help Australian farmers and help your family at the same time, by buying Australian fresh, locally grown produce. Australian farmers pride themselves in having the world’s best growing standards.

First Froots policy is to source fresh locally grown fruit and vegetables wherever possible. South Australian grown also generally means a lower price than the interstate option, although this does not always follow with the overseas option.

When there is a demand for a particular fruit or vegetable that is out of season in Australia, the imported alternative is offered, but customers will always be made aware of it on the product description. Australian and imported of the same product will never be offered at the same time.