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Sensible approach to Country of Origin Labelling

28th November 2005

Common Sense approach to Country of Origin Labelling

The Government has made a common sense decision on country of origin labelling (COOL) in New Zealand says Meat & Wool New Zealand's CEO Mark Jeffries.

"The Government has made the right decision in not adopting mandatory COOL. Let those food manufacturers who see some advantage in it, implement the system voluntarily."

"We make use of voluntary country of origin labelling through our domestic New Zealand beef and lamb quality mark programme."

Farmers, processors and supermarkets fund the programme which incorporates quality parameters such as tenderness, animal welfare and being free of added hormones as well as being only applicable on beef and lamb produced in New Zealand", he said.

Mark Jeffries says mandatory COOL requirements can add substantial cost to food production and marketing systems for very little benefit to the consumer. Health standards for imported food are designed to ensure that any food imported into this country is safe and therefore there are no additional health benefits derived from a compulsory product origin labelling system.

"These requirements can get complicated when there is a mixture of different ingredients, or parts of ingredients from different origins."

"Meat & Wool New Zealand supports the Government's decision. There is no need to make country of origin labelling mandatory in New Zealand, a position we have also advocated in opposing similar requirements in overseas markets."

ENDS

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