NZPork welcomes recommendation for clearer country of origin labelling

NZPork chief executive Brent Kleiss

NZPork says it is pleased with recommendations from Parliament’s Regulations Review Committee to explore clearer labelling regarding the country of origin for pork

Last year, NZPork complained to the select committee that food labelling regulations do not ensure consumers have accurate information about the country of origin of pork, particularly in processed pork products that are cured such as ham and bacon, but also in a wide range of other products, such as marinated pork, sausages and salami.

Currently, the Consumer Information Standards (Origin of Food) Regulations allow manufacturers to advertise that a pork product such as bacon or ham is “made in New Zealand”, while putting on the back in fine print a list of countries the pork may be sourced from. Countries could include ‘New Zealand’ even if pork farmed in New Zealand is only a very remote possibility.

Now, Members of Parliament on the select committee have recommended that the Government considers amending the regulation to avoid labelling practices which may confuse consumers about the origin of the products.

NZPork chief executive Brent Kleiss says clear and unambiguous labelling allows consumers to make informed purchasing decisions.

“We have been concerned that products are being sold to consumers as ‘made in New Zealand’ when they are not made from born and raised New Zealand pork,” he says.

“The fact that these products contain meat from foreign sources is only mentioned in small print on the back of the product. This practice is misleading and confusing for consumers as to the true nature of the product’s origins.”

“We are pleased the select committee has found the regulations are not consistent with the purpose of the Fair Trading Act and the Country of Origin of Food Act,” he says.

Kleiss says NZPork now urges the Government to address the issue as a matter of urgency.

“This will help provide consumers with the confidence that they are ‘buying local’, knowing they are supporting Kiwi farmers and purchasing pork raised to high levels of animal welfare.”

“Kiwis should look for the ‘100 per cent NZ’ pork labelling or NZPork’s PigCare label on pork packaging.

“More than 60 per cent of pork consumed in New Zealand is imported and produced using practices that are illegal in this country. Kiwi pig farmers just want a fair go.”