Mandatory Country of Origin Labelling – time to talk to your Member of Parliament

10 Apr 2017

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This week, we have the first opportunity to get in place mandatory Country of Origin Labelling (CoOL).

The Green’s Members Bill - Consumers’ Right to Know (Country of Origin of Food) Bill - is scheduled to get its first reading in Parliament on Wednesday.

We need you to talk to your Member of Parliament about supporting this Bill and voting for it to be referred to the Select Committee. We know people want mandatory CoOL because an independent survey conducted by Consumer NZ in February showed:

  • 71% of consumers want mandatory country of origin labelling
  • 70% of consumers want to buy fresh fruit and fresh vegetables
  • 72% of consumers want to know where their fresh fruit and vegetables come from
  • 66% of consumers look for CoOL, but only find it 32% of the time for fruit and 29% of the time for vegetables.

The Parliamentary process for a Bill to become law in New Zealand is that the Bill is introduced into Parliament. Then it has its first reading. Two things can happen at the first reading stage, it can get voted down and that is the end of the Bill; or it can get referred to a Parliamentary Select Committee. Once it is at the Select Committee stage the public of New Zealand can make submissions and the Bill is worked on to make it into an Act of Parliament, in other words good law.  It then goes back to Parliament for the next two stages before becoming an Act of Parliament.

The Green’s Bill has been successfully introduced into Parliament. It now needs to have the Members of Parliament by a majority vote for it to be referred to the Select Committee. This is the stage on Wednesday.

This is where you all come in – drop a short line to your Member of Parliament seeking their support for the Green’s Bill to be referred to the Select Committee.

Mike Chapman, CEO