Have your say: Country of Origin Food Labelling

People want and deserve to know where their food comes from. That is the intention behind my member’s bill (originally Steffan Browning’s) the Consumers’ Right to Know (Country of Origin of Food) Bill which has re-opened for submissions.

There is already a requirement in law to identify where footwear and clothing comes from, and this bill would extend this requirement to fresh fruit, meat, fish, and vegetables, and other single component foods such as grains, nuts, bulk flour and oil.

The bill is being considered by the Primary Production Committee, made-up of MPs from National, Labour, and NZ First. The Committee have recently published an interim report that they are seeking public submissions on. The interim report unfortunately narrows the different types of food that would be required to have country of origin labelling. For example, bacon wouldn’t be covered under the amended Bill, which is concerning given the animal welfare issues with some imported bacon.

I would strongly encourage people to make a submission to the Primary Production Committee on this Bill asking for them to widen the labelling requirements. In particular, you could make references to the Bill being extended to include:

  • Bacon
  • Nuts
  • Grains
  • Seeds
  • Oil

You can make a submission online here. If you have any questions about the Bill, send me an email: Gareth.Hughes@parliament.govt.nz