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    Annette King, Minister of Food Safety, recently announced that New Zealand is refusing to introduce mandatory Country of Origin Labelling for food (CoOL).

    In an article published in The Press, 30/11/2005, Brenda Cuttress, Executive Director of NZ Food and Grocery Council, stated that "most consumers do not worry about which country a food comes from. 'Green Party consumers may worry, but they're only 5 per cent of the population. If they're that concerned, they can use an 0800 number and ask.' She also states that usually only one call from between 20,000 and 30,000 calls to food suppliers' 0800 lines each year was from a consumer inquiring about country of origin."

    So we would recommend that if you are concerned about the lack of CoOL then dial the 0800 number on any food product that does not have country of origin labelling and ask where their product / ingredients come from. At the same time ask them to please put CoOL on all their food products and inform them you will avoid products without country of origin labels.

    Things you can do:

    • Dial the 0800 number on any food product that does not have CoOL and ask where their product / ingredients come from.
    • Write to your supermarket and say you will not buy products that are not labelled with the country of origin.
    • Write to the Minister of Food Safety, Annette King, and tell her that you want CoOL, and are dismayed by the governments refusal to provide the information consumers need to make informed purchasing decisions.


    Because we have a fundamental right to know where our food comes from.

    And because it lets us choose:

    • to buy fresh food that has not travelled long distances or been fumigated on entry into New Zealand.
    • to support local growers.
    • to buy food that costs less, in environmental terms, to deliver to your table.
    • not to buy food from countries that use unacceptable animal practices (like confining cattle to beef feedlots or injecting pigs with growth hormones).
    • not to buy foods from countries using excessive amounts of pesticides.
    • not to buy food from countries whose quality assurance systems we know nothing about.
    • not to buy food from countries without GE labelling, or where labelling might be unreliable.

    from Sue Kedgley MP
    11 January 2006

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