Independent research into the attitudes of local consumers, commissioned by NZ Pork, reinforces public support for the Green Party’s Consumers’ Right to Know (Country of Origin Food) Bill, currently before Parliament.
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, is joining widespread calls from the food sector for all parties to back the bill.
The organisation recently commissioned independent qualitative and quantitative research in Auckland Christchurch and Dunedin through TRA Research, for it’s own country of origin food labelling. The survey of over 300 New Zealand shoppers found that when considering the benefits of buying a local product, 86 per cent believed New Zealand’s food quality regulations were of a higher standard and 76 per cent felt New Zealand has better farming practices than other countries.
Feedback from the research indicated the need for more clarity in relation to elements of its’ branding and NZ Pork is currently looking at new Point of Sale messages included “Born and Raised” in NZ, rather than 100% NZ.
NZ Pork chairman Ian Carter says local consumers believe it is very important to know where their food comes from, so they can make an informed choice when feeding their families.
“Our own country of origin labelling research has highlighted the importance Kiwi consumers put on knowing more about how their food is produced and where it is sourced from,” says Ian Carter.
“In particular, New Zealanders want to understand the standards that govern how their food was grown or raised – something they feel they know less about when it comes to imported products.”
Based on their research, NZ Pork is introducing additional labelling for their PigCareTM accreditation programme. The 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 initial roll out of labelling will involve supermarket sales however NZ Pork is also interested in the catering and hospitality sector purchasing.
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.
Almost 60 per cent of pork products consumed in New Zealand are currently imported. Imported pork does not have to meet New Zealand’s high animal welfare standards.
“By providing country of origin labelling Kiwi consumers are not only able to choose to support the local industry which employs many New Zealanders and contributes to the local economy, they are also able to make selections that reflect their own standards in terms of care, expertise and welfare in the farming practice.”
“NZ Pork hopes to see all our elected members from across the political spectrum support the right of New Zealand consumers to make that informed choice through compulsory Country of Origin labelling.”