www.foodtechnology.co.nz 15 born and raised in New Zealand and farmed with care – with welfare at the centre of the farming practice. It has been developed by Massey University with the support of vets, pig farmers, NZ Pork and MPI, and 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,” Carter says. Tomatoes New Zealand is urging the industry to have its say about the Bill, saying it is time New Zealand followed the lead of other developed economies like Australia, the US, Singapore and the Netherlands, where labelling is compulsory, chair Alasdair MacLeod says. “New Zealanders have been asking for clearer labelling of fruit and vegetables for some time. A study of 1000 people in 2015, commissioned by Tomatoes New Zealand, found 85% wanted clear labelling to help them identify between New Zealand tomatoes and irradiated Australian tomato imports,” he says. Some foods, including all imported Australian tomatoes, are irradiated to preserve the food and kill bacteria and pests, but New Zealand tomatoes are not irradiated. Food Safety Australia New Zealand already requires compulsory labelling of irradiated produce in New Zealand, although that is being reviewed and may be removed, he says. “We believe that mandatory labelling should include the country of origin. All consumers have the right to make an informed choice about what fruit and vegetables they buy.” The Bill has been referred to the Primary Production Select Committee, which will gather submissions until May 18 and report back on October 12. 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.
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