Consumers’ Right to Know (Country of Origin of Food) Bill – First Reading – Video 4
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Consumers’ Right to Know (Country of Origin of Food) Bill – First Reading – Video 4

October 15, 2019


spill killed a tato the Honorable joke with you Thank You mr. speaker well I’m delighted to take a call on this consumers right to know country of origin food bill congratulations Stefan browning I’m i am pleased this has been drawn out of the ballot and I understand New Zealanders desire to know where their food comes from but I want to cover off on a few things here today and I think it is really important that we can that we continue to remember that this bill is about choice so that consumers can easily find out whether the product they’re buying comes from and there’s been a lot of demand for that in a lot of discussion around that for quite some time but there is also some misapprehensions around that so we first of all we thought that voluntary labeling and the fact that eighty percent of the retail food market that being progressives and foodstuffs doing it voluntarily would get us across the line and have new zealanders enough New Zealanders knowing what they wanted to know as it turned out that proved to be not quite enough but I want to say that there is two reasons that people think this is going to be good for New Zealand so first of all New Zealand producers of food think this is going to give them a competitive advantage and if they pretend they don’t that’s wrong because they think that New Zealanders want to buy new zealand products and largely they do but new zealand products or any products fresh fruit and vegetables are price sensitive as well and i myself was thinking the other day when i saw a particular fruit i think it was lemons in the supermarket and I wanted lemon for my gin and tonic that convict I didn’t think the difference in and taste was important enough for me to buy the product that was twice the price just because it came from somewhere in New Zealand so I’m sorry I bought an overseas lemon however I did have the choice and that’s what we’re saying that New Zealanders should have now and that is the choice the second problem we have is that New Zealanders believe that this will give them a choice that will assure them of food safety wrong wrong wrong it will not there are many other mechanisms to assure New Zealanders of food safety they don’t always work so we saw a few years ago New Zealanders get sick from New Zealand produced vegetables we saw a couple of years ago New Zealanders get sick with hepatitis A from frozen berries at the time ninety-five percent of New Zealand’s frozen berries and supermarkets were labeled country of origin that was voluntarily done so it didn’t stop anybody giving sick though did it now I want to cover off on another couple of things the survey showed us that our good representation of New Zealanders want this and it was I believe horticulture New Zealand and consumer New Zealand put together a good survey that gave us a clear steer and that’s helped us to make up our mind that this is a good way to go however in the Select Committee we need to make sure that this bill is simple and it is as cost-effective for the producers as as possible and the reason I say that is if we look across the ditch to Australia where they have a country of origin labeling scheme that is anything but the last thing we want to do is go down the path they have because all the Australians have decided to do is label what percentage of the product as Australian made so if it’s fifty percent australian-made that’s what the label says if it’s fifty percent New Zealand product it doesn’t say that so they not get it getting anything on their label other than how much of it as Australian made and that to me is a fraud and personally I think that’s also a barrier to trade so that one will be an interesting one to watch over the years to come and it’s just been very recently introduced so what we currently have and you know if you look if we look across the country the people supporting this our shoppers in the main it’s New Zealand producers of these single ingredient products it’s rural New Zealand largely but there is some sensitivity around the the companies that will have to do the labeling about how easily the product will be labeled we know their efforts in a packet labeling it is a whole lot easier then if it’s a an apple rolling around and we have to make sure that everything the one of them’s got a sticker on it however I think these things are not mountable and it is my view that what we’re doing here today is putting in place a process through select committee where the bill can be carefully looked at we can minimize the cost to the producers we can give New Zealanders the information they want today but they must remember that when they’re choosing food there are other ways that they can be more assured of its safety looking at its use best before date making sure they store it appropriately prepare it properly for eating and that will be much more about food safety this is about choice and knowing what you’re buying Thank You mr. speaker I call what Richard Prosser themes to speaker I’m very pleased to

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