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Anathoth jam adopts country of origin labels

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Anathoth jam adopts country of origin labels

7 October 2008

Labels on the familiar pottles of Anathoth jam in supermarkets are to show the country of origin for the fruit used to make the popular product.

Until now Anathoth has followed food industry convention by stating on its labels that its jam is “made in New Zealand from local and imported ingredients.

Anathoth’s move to adopt country of origin labelling is the first for a major New Zealand jam brand and may be a first for the wider New Zealand processed fruit and vegetable category.

“Over the past year, customers have been asking us where the fruit in Anathoth’s jam comes from, so we got a country of origin labelling project underway in February so we could tell them” said the managing director of the family-owned Barker Fruit Processors Ltd, Mr Michael Barker.

Barker’s, located in Geraldine, is the new owner and producer of the popular Anathoth brand sold in supermarkets throughout New Zealand.

“Even when the fruit in the Anathoth jam is 100% New Zealand the sugar is still imported, so our labels say ‘made from local and imported ingredients.’

“However this wording on the label wasn’t giving our customers the consumer information they wanted.

“Anathoth’s move to showing the country of origin of the fruit now enables customers to make a more informed choice about what they’re eating,” said Mr Barker.

Anathoth has a policy of “New Zealand fruit first and foremost” and this had resulted in seven of the nine currently available Anathoth jams containing 100% New Zealand fruit, said Mr Barker.

New Zealand fruits used in the product range include strawberry, boysenberry, apricot, plum, blackberry, blackcurrant, blueberry, grapefruit,  lemon and as many raspberries as Anathoth can get.

“Consumers expect Anathoth to be a homemade-style jam made from local fruit, but due to supply issues we cannot always deliver 100% on that expectation of New Zealand fruit.

“For instance, the virtual collapse of the New Zealand raspberry industry has led to only half our raspberries coming from Nelson with the balance being imported from Canada and Chile.

“In addition, Anathoth orange marmalade is made from the renowned Seville oranges grown in Spain”.

The full changeover to the new labels across the Anathoth jam range would take about four months. 

“Achieving country of origin labelling is an added cost to production, so we’ll be closely monitoring consumer response to see whether it’s appropriate to extend the labelling initiative to our other products”.



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