Poll shows huge support for country of origin labelling bill
9 March 2017
Poll shows huge support for Greens’ country of origin labelling bill
The Green Party is calling for cross-party support for its Members’ Bill that would introduce mandatory country of origin labelling for meat, fruit, vegetables and nuts, after the release of a poll that shows more than 70 percent of New Zealanders support the idea.
Green MP Steffan Browning’s Consumers’ Right to Know (Country of Origin of Food) Bill, which would make it mandatory for food producers to label their fresh or single-ingredient food products with their country of origin, is awaiting its first reading in Parliament, likely to be in mid-April.
“The vast majority of New Zealanders are in support of mandatory country of origin labelling and want the option of choosing locally produced food when they do their weekly shop,” said Mr Browning.
“I’m calling on all parties to support my Bill to select committee so New Zealanders can make their views known directly to the Government.
“The current voluntary labelling system is just that, voluntary, which means there’s no monitoring or enforcement. There is ample evidence of it not working and this poll confirms people want a mandatory system.
“New Zealanders have a right to know where their food comes from and to make an informed choice when they buy. It’s time to make that a reality.
“Many other countries, including most of our trading partners, have mandatory country of origin labelling for at least some foods. Australia has had a strong mandatory labelling system for many years. We are behind the times in continuing to deny consumers this basic right.
“I’m thrilled that my Bill is being supported by Horticulture New Zealand, Consumer NZ and many others, who support the right of New Zealanders to know where their food comes from.
“It’s time for politicians to show their support for that too,” said Mr Browning.