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New Government Urged To Make Country Of Origin Labelling A Priority

David Clark, the new Commerce and Consumer Affairs Minister, is being urged to make Country of Origin labelling regulations a priority for the new Government and bring forward both the release of the recommended regulations and the commencement date.

The Consumer Information Standards (Origin of Food) Regulations 2019 aim to provide consumers with clarity about where their food is from, currently including bacon and ham. Earlier this year, the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment advised the new labelling requirements were delayed due to Covid-19. The recommended regulations are now due by 4 June 2021, commencing in December 2021, meaning an up to 12-month delay.

Angus Black, of Harrington’s Smallgoods, says at a time when the Government is encouraging people to buy and support local, consumers remain none the wiser about the origin of their processed pork products.

Angus Black

“Overseas, African Swine Fever continues its inexorable spread globally, as a pig-specific pandemic, and is causing greater concern within the market. Our local farmers are also contending with the impacts of the Covid-19 restrictions and were hit particularly hard when the hospitality sector was closed, and butchers were unable to trade.

“Bringing forward the labelling recommendations will enable consumers to identify and buy local pork easily; supporting the New Zealand industry, increasing demand for local pork, and reducing the risks which come with importing pork from countries dealing with African Swine Fever,” says Angus Black.

Harrington’s Smallgoods has submitted and provided feedback on the Consumer’s Right to Know (Country of Origin of Food) Act at each stage. It has also written to the new Minister, asking him to make the new regulations a priority.

Angus Black says “We also ask that in considering the final recommendations, sausages are included, and the regulations more clearly prescribe the rules around the size and placement of the country of origin labels. The Minister has the discretion under the Act to include any additional food or food group, obviously where there is a good reason to do so. The NZ Pork Board estimates the NZ Pork industry is worth $750 million each year to New Zealand, and we must do everything we can to support it during the global pandemic.”

Based in Miramar Wellington, Harrington’s has a proud 25-year history producing premium, award-winning New Zealand smallgoods. Selecting only the best ingredients like premium New Zealand pork and beef, working from traditional recipes, and using plenty of artisan know-how to create superb sausages, beautiful bacon and sensational specialties, Harrington’s is 100% New Zealand owned and crafted.

Led by former chef Angus Black, Harrington’s has an unwavering commitment to quality - believing top-quality meat gives top quality produce, Harrington’s want to help Kiwis become more conscious about the food they consume.

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