The fruit and veg section at Broadway Coles, showing some of their organic carrots alongside their regular ones.

Confusing ... a recent survey showed that 90 per cent of respondents did not understand where their food was coming from. Photo: Wade Laube

YOUR shopping trolley may be filled with Belgian potatoes, American oranges or Argentinian soup, but as far as you're aware they're all ''Made in Australia''.

Consumer groups are calling for an overhaul of food labelling in Australia, saying it is confusing and often misleading.

A recent survey showed 90 per cent of respondents did not understand where their food was coming from.

It is mandatory for all packaged foods in Australia to carry a country of origin claim, but there is nothing to specify what terms are used, consumer groups say.

Under federal laws, food can be labelled ''made in Australia'', ''Australia made'', ''manufactured in Australia'', ''grown in Australia'', ''Australian owned'' and ''product of Australia'', even if the food is from other countries.

The ''product of'' claim is much stricter than the general ''made in'' claim, according to the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission.

The consumer group Choice is now seeking the support of the federal government to simplify the country of origin claims, reducing the labels to just three claims: ''product of Australia'', ''manufactured in Australia'' and ''packaged in Australia''.

The food policy adviser for Choice, Angela McDougall, said the proposed changes would give credibility to the terms ''product of Australia'' and ''manufactured in Australia''.

''Australian consumers want to support Australian products. Knowing where our food comes from is very important to Australians, which is why these proposed changes are so important,'' she said. By moving to the use of simpler terms, Ms McDougall says shoppers will be able to identify exactly which ingredients come from Australia and overseas.

A Woolworths spokesman, Benedict Brook, says the supermarket would ensure it meets any legislation and work to help make its customers aware of the origins of its products.

''Woolworths has long held the view that country of origin information is a source of confusion,'' he said.