Cross party support for the Consumers’ Right to Know (Country of Origin Food) Bill, heading to the Select Committee stage, is a true reflection of Kiwi consumers’ attitudes, according to the latest research by NZ Pork.
NZ Pork, the statutory board that works on behalf of local pig farmers, promotes a high standard of animal welfare and a sustainable future for the local industry has been calling for all parties to back the bill.
According to in-depth independent consumer research, currently being conducted by NZ Pork, New Zealanders expect that the meat they buy in New Zealand is born and raised here.
NZ Pork chairman Ian Carter says, for example, around 60 per cent of pork sold in New Zealand is imported, from 20 countries around the world.
“Based on our research, New Zealanders would be very surprised to learn how high the levels of imported food products are in some popular categories,” says Ian Carter.
“The expectation of Kiwi shoppers is that, if a product isn’t from here, they should be told where it is from so they can make an informed choice.”
Seventy per cent of New Zealanders support mandatory country of origin labelling for meat, fruit, vegetables and nuts, according to a recent poll.
NZ Pork is currently refreshing its labelling for New Zealand grown pork products to emphasise both country of origin and its PigCareTM accreditation programme. The PigCareTM label will highlight that pork products are sourced from pigs that have been born and raised in New Zealand and farmed with care – with welfare at the centre of the farming practice.
The PigCareTM accreditation programme, developed by Massey University with the support of vets, pig farmers, NZ Pork and MPI, is a world-class assessment of animal welfare.
“We hope as this bill progresses, more of our elected representatives will recognise the wishes of their constituents and provide the opportunity for local consumers to understand more about where their food is sourced.”