To: David Clark, Minister of Consumer Affairs
Label country of origin meat products
Update the Consumers’ Right to Know (Country of Origin of Food) Act to remove loopholes and make country of origin labelling compulsory for all foods including processed meats.
Why is this important?
Under public pressure our laws and standards have improved so the treatment of farmed animals in Aotearoa is more transparent and accountable. For example the use of sow crates for mother pigs was banned in 2010 but farrowing crates are still used.
However overseas products don't have the same standards. They can have issues around contamination of local water supplies, routine use of antibiotics in feed, and poor animal welfare.
The law is being updated this year to make country of labelling compulsory. Yet imported products which may have been processed in Aotearoa will still be allowed to be mixed with NZ produce and labelled 'Made in New Zealand'.
Over 80 percent of New Zealanders believe it is misleading if imported pork which undergoes further processing in New Zealand, is not labelled as imported. Almost 60 percent of pork eaten in New Zealand is imported. Pig farmers here are making welfare improvements yet say they are 'competing against a wall of imported pork meat'. Without accurate labelling consumers are unable to make a choice that supports our farmers and animal welfare.
Let's remove the loopholes and make sure country of labelling is accurate.