Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item:
Scopus Web of Science® Altmetric
Type: Journal article
Title: Obtaining consumer perspectives using a Citizens' Jury: does the current Country of Origin Labelling in Australia allow for informed food choices?
Author: Withall, E.
Wilson, A.
Henderson, J.
Tonkin, E.
Coveney, J.
Meyer, S.
Clark, J.
McCullum, D.
Ankeny, R.
Ward, P.
Citation: BMC Public Health, 2016; 16(1):1241-1-1241-11
Publisher: BioMed Central
Issue Date: 2016
ISSN: 1471-2458
Statement of
Elizabeth Withall, Annabelle M. Wilson, Julie Henderson, Emma Tonkin, John Coveney, Samantha B. Meyer, Jacinta Clark, Dean McCullum, Rachel Ankeny and Paul R. Ward
Abstract: Background: Contemporary food systems are vast and complex, creating greater distance between consumers and their food. Consequently, consumers are required to put faith in a system of which they have limited knowledge or control. Country of origin labelling (CoOL) is one mechanism that theoretically enables consumer knowledge of provenance of food products. However, this labelling system has recently come under Australian Government review and recommendations for improvements have been proposed. Consumer engagement in this process has been limited. Therefore this study sought to obtain further consumer opinion on the issue of CoOL and to identify the extent to which Australian consumers agree with Australian Government recommendations for improvements. Methods: A citizens’ jury was conducted with a sample of 14 South Australian consumers to explore their perceptions on whether the CoOL system allows them to make informed food choices, as well as what changes (if any) need to be made to enable informed food choices (recommendations). Results: Overall, jurors’ perception of usefulness of CoOL, including its ability to enable consumers to make informed food choices, fluctuated throughout the Citizens’ Jury. Initially, the majority of the jurors indicated that the labels allowed informed food choice, however by the end of the session the majority disagreed with this statement. Inconsistencies within jurors’ opinions were observed, particularly following delivery of information from expert witnesses and jury deliberation. Jurors provided recommendations for changes to be made to CoOL, which were similar to those provided in the Australian Government inquiry. Conclusions: Consumers in this study engaged with the topical issue of CoOL and provided their opinions. Overall, consumers do not think that the current CoOL system in Australia enables consumers to make informed choices. Recommendations for changes, including increasing the size of the label and the label’s font, and standardising its position, were made.
Keywords: Citizens’ jury; country of origin; trust; food labelling
Rights: © The Author(s). 2016 Open Access This article is distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License (, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided you give appropriate credit to the original author(s) and the source, provide a link to the Creative Commons license, and indicate if changes were made. The Creative Commons Public Domain Dedication waiver ( applies to the data made available in this article, unless otherwise stated.
DOI: 10.1186/s12889-016-3900-5
Published version:
Appears in Collections:Aurora harvest 3
Public Health publications

Files in This Item:
File Description SizeFormat 
hdl_108525.pdfPublished version987.62 kBAdobe PDFView/Open

Items in DSpace are protected by copyright, with all rights reserved, unless otherwise indicated.