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Select Committee investigating organic labelling

Select Committee already investigating organic labelling

Green MP Ian Ewen-Street today said he welcomed a proposal from Phillida Bunkle to provide an interim consumer information standard for organics but reminded her that the Primary Production Select Committee has been examining the same proposal for over two months.

"While the Green Party welcomes Ms Bunkle's commitment to both consumers and organics the Select Committee of which I am a member is already covering this ground, at my request," said Mr Ewen-Street.

"Following today's announcement it appears as though the Minister may have been unaware of the work of the Select Committee," he said.

"The Primary Production Select Committee started a comprehensive inquiry into New Zealand's organic market potential in early April. The inquiry will look at factors constraining growth in the organics industry, labelling and certification issues as well as consumer issues."

Mr Ewen-Street said a key task of the Select Committee inquiry was to provide a robust definition of organics to provide certainty to both producers and consumers and this must come before labelling issues are addressed.

"When this inquiry was announced I stressed the need for a co-ordinated approach to organics," said Mr Ewen-Street.

"The Select Committee had not even heard of the Minister's ideas until today and we have already held hearings with some of the Hawkes Bays' primary organic producers.

"Again we welcome Ms Bunkle's energy and invite her to work closely and co-operatively with us. It is important that we all speak with a united voice."

"It is encouraging that with Ms Bunkle representing consumers and people like me working with the industry we are still reaching the same conclusions," said Mr Ewen-Street.


Ends

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