In an extraordinary turn around, and after years of refusing to budge on the issue, Labour has come out in support of Mandatory Country of Origin Labelling (CoOL) for our food, with an amendment to the Food Bill.
It’s great they now agree with something the Greens have been pushing for over a decade. This puts them onside with the majority of consumers and the many farm and horticulture producers who wholeheartedly support CoOL.
We lobbied Labour for the whole nine years it was in Government over CoOL, we introduced a Government bill that they voted down, and we presented petitions to parliament that they ignored.
The Green Party has again shown it’s ahead of the pack when it comes to consumers’ rights to know about the food they’re eating. I have had a detailed Members Bill to introduce CoOL in the ballot for some time.
It’s great that Labour has now come around and will be even better if National also changes its mind on this. If they do, it would be nice to see them actually enforcing not just this rule but all current labelling rules. New Zealand’s GE food labelling requirements have not been properly enforced since 2003.
New Zealanders have a right to know where their food comes from. 105 of New Zealand’s 120 trading partners already have CoOL. Knowing where food comes from enables us to make informed decisions about what we purchase, based on how and where it was produced.
The Green Party’s policy has always been, and will continue to be, mandatory country of origin labelling, with full monitoring and enforcement.