2 Mar 2015

Calls for compulsory country of origin food labels

11:38 am on 2 March 2015

Horticulture New Zealand says the Government needs to make country-of-origin labels compulsory on all products.

The Australian government has threatened to toughen up food labelling in light of a hepatitis outbreak caused by frozen berries from China.

In this country, the Ministry for Primary Industries said mandatory country-of-origin labelling could affect the viability of the New Zealand market for overseas exporters and reduce the availability of products.

Communications manager for HortNZ Leigh Catley said despite campaigns for better product labelling, nothing has been done.

"At this stage, there doesn't seem to be the political will to listen to what people are asking for.

"Which is that country-of-origin information [is] provided on food."

Ms Catley said New Zealand was getting seriously left behind, as consumer trends showed people were wanting to eat and support local food producers.

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