Retailers listening to consumer demands
Retailers listening to consumer demands as to where and how their food is grown
"Soil & Health applauds the recent initiative by Quality Mark to identify on the label all beef and lamb that is not grown in New Zealand," says Debbie Swanwick, Spokesperson for Soil & Health - Organic NZ.
Numerous groups and organisations, including Soil & Health, Horticulture New Zealand and the Green Party, have been campaigning for mandatory country of origin labelling for several years.
"Despite intense lobbying, the government has failed to implement such a policy, but it is inspirational that retailers are listening to consumers who want to know where and how their food is grown. Even internationally retailers are stepping up to enable consumers to make better purchasing decisions," says Swanwick.
In the US a major retailer, The Whole Foods market, has seized a marketing opportunity and committed to labelling GMOs by 2018. This initiative is in contrast to legislation which still does not require mandatory labelling of GMOs in the US despite consumer demand for it.
"With the rising incidence of food contamination throughout the world and the absence of mandatory country of origin labelling, the most reliable way to ensure you are buying local food grown is to buy New Zealand certified organic food. Of course that also ensures it is safe, healthy and meets our animal welfare standards," says Swanwick.
New Zealand produced certified organic food carries one of these four labels: BioGro, Demeter, AsureQuality or OrganicFarmNZ.