The Green Party today announced a plan for honest food labelling to ensure ‘free range’ means what it says, and consumers can easily see where their food comes from.
In government, the Green Party will develop mandatory consumer information standards for ‘free range’ and country of origin labelling under the Fair Trading Act. Country of origin labelling will apply to single ingredient foods like fruit, vegetables, meat, fish, nuts, grains, and oils.
“We all have a right to know where our food comes from and under what conditions it was produced, so we can make informed decisions about what we buy and eat,” said Green Party leader James Shaw.
“Whether you’re concerned about animal welfare, food miles, or you just want to support local food producers, the Green Party will make it easier to know what you’re buying and eating.
“We will fix the wild west of free range labelling by requiring food producers to reveal information about their animal welfare standards.
“If you think you’re buying free range eggs and meat, then it should be exactly that – free range. However there’s no current proper standard for what can be labelled free range, so that’s not always the case.
“The Green Party has always led on honest food labelling and now we will make sure people can have confidence that free range means what it says, and isn’t just a marketing tool.
“We can support our local food producers by ensuring that when food really is locally produced, the label says so.
“Under the current system, it’s often too hard to tell if food was made in New Zealand or not. For example, pork can be imported and made into ham or bacon, then labelled as ‘product of New Zealand’. That’s not honest.
“New Zealand has mandatory country of origin labelling for shoes and t-shirts, but not for food.
“Some of our biggest trading partners like Australia already have country of origin labelling. It’s time that New Zealand caught up,” said Mr Shaw.