1 Nov 2011

Certifier wants more information on food

9:16 pm on 1 November 2011

Food certifier Oritain says consumers have lost trust in the food supply and should be given more information about the food they are purchasing, including where it comes from.

Oritain chief executive Helen Darling told a traceability symposium in Wellington that mandatory country-of-origin labelling in New Zealand would be a good start, but may prove worthless as labels can be tampered with or confusing.

She says producers need to be able to check their products have not been contaminated through the supply chain.

Oritain is setting up a risk mitigation plan collecting background information for food producers so they can check their products at any point in the supply chain.

It is also working with another food certification body, AssureQuality, on a project to better inform consumers about what they're buying.

AssureQuality marketing manager Mark Inglis says by the beginning of next year consumers will be able to scan products on supermarket shelves with their smartphones to bring up a detailed background of the product.

Mr Inglis says the project, named Insight, includes marking the products which can be scanned with a special logo.

He says AssureQuality is in talks with New Zealand household brands and significant producers in the agrifood sector, who are interested in joining the initiative.